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Nigeria drops charges against Cheney, Halliburton

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency said Friday that it had formally dropped bribery charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and oil services company Halliburton¬† after the company agreed to pay a fine.

“It was formally dropped today,” Economic and Financial Crimes Commission spokesman Femi Babafemi said. He said the Nigerian government had agreed to an offer made by Halliburton to pay fines totalling up to $250 million.

Halliburton could not immediately be reached for comment.

Judge releases Halliburton cement to investigators

A New Orleans federal judge overseeing litigation on the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster signed an order to release materials Halliburton used in the cementing job on BP’s blown-out Macondo well to federal investigators. Get the full story »

Halliburton shares still sliding on spill report

Halliburton Co. shares continued to slide on Friday, a day after a government panel said the oilfield service company used flawed cement on the BP well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Investors worried about Halliburton’s liability sent the shares down as much as 16 percent on Thursday after the White House panel issued its report and a letter. The stock continued its slide on Friday, falling 1.4 percent.

Halliburton vigorously defended its actions in a lengthy statement issued Thursday night, saying there were significant differences between the company’s tests on the cement used in the Macondo well and the government’s tests. Get the full story »

BP, Halliburton knew of cement flaws before spill

From The New York Times | Halliburton and BP knew weeks before the blast on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the well was unstable, a commission found.

U.S. launches criminal probe into Gulf oil spill

Several U.S. agencies are preparing a criminal probe of at least three companies involved in the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, though it could take more than a year before any charges are filed, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

BP Plc, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co. are the initial targets of the wide-ranging probe, which aims “to examine whether their cozy relations with federal regulators contributed to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico,” the newspaper said, citing law enforcement and other sources. Get the full story »

Hayward: Oil spill a failure of drilling industry

Outgoing BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward declared in a web cast Tuesday that the Gulf of Mexico oil well disaster represents a failure for the deepwater oil and gas drilling industry, not just for BP.

“The industry needs to re-evaluate safety,” he said. “Everyone will re-evaluate the business model to reduce risk associated with deepwater drilling.” Get the full story »