Skip to main content

Halliburton will pay $1.1 billion to settle Deepwater Horizon oil disaster lawsuits

Halliburton will pay $1.1 billion to settle Deepwater Horizon oil disaster lawsuits

Share this story

Halliburton has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle much of its part in 2010's Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster. The incident killed 11 people, and resulted in the largest oil spill in this history of the US after offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded. Halliburton was responsible for cement mixture used to seal the oil well, which ended up being faulty.

More than four years later

The agreement, which requires approval from a federal judge, covers claims against Halliburton as part of BP's 2012 class action settlement, as well as punitive damages claims on property and in the commercial fishing industry. The agreement also removes Halliburton's liability for compensating members of the 2012 BP settlement. That money is going into a trust, while other parts of the litigation involving companies like BP and rig operator Transocean continue to work their way through appeals.

The settlement is separate from a $200,000 fine the company paid to the US Department of Justice for destroying evidence related to the incident. According to the Justice Department, Halliburton ordered its employees to destroy simulations for structural tolerance of the concrete mix with system of metal collars. The number of collars, as well as the cement mix, could have made the difference in the outcome of the disaster, investigators found.

As Bloomberg notes, the settlement does not apply to some state lawsuits against Halliburton. It's also a very small amount when compared with the billions BP has already paid, and could still be on the hook for. The company's paid out $27 billion in efforts to clean up the spill and in legal compensation, and could be fined another $18 billion in penalties under the US Clean Water Act.