Updated at: 07/26/2013 4:06 PM
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
(AP) NEW ORLEANS - Halliburton has resolved a Justice Department criminal probe of its role in the Gulf oil spill by agreeing to pay a $200,000 fine and admitting it destroyed evidence, but the company still has a powerful incentive to cut another deal with businesses and residents.
The plea agreement doesn’t shield Halliburton from a high-stakes decision by a federal judge, who is considering how much the companies involved in the 2010 well blowout should pay for damage from the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.
The guilty plea could apply more pressure on Halliburton to get a deal done before the judge rules. But Ed Sherman, a Tulane University law professor, says the criminal case is not directly related to the company’s responsibility for the oil spill.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)