What We Do / 2001 Civil Penalties

2001 Civil Penalties

 

2001 Civil Penalties

The goal of the OCS Civil Penalties Program is to assure safe and clean operations on the OCS. Through the pursuit, assessment, and collection of civil penalties and referrals for the consideration of criminal penalties, the program is designed to encourage compliance with OCS statutes and regulations.

2001 Civil Penalties Summary
All Penalties Paid in Calendar 2001

(1/1/2001 - 12/31/2001)

Operator Name
and Case No.

Violation and Date(s) Penalty Paid and
Date Paid
Regulation(s) Violated
(30 CFR)
BP Exploration & Oil Inc.

G-2000-029

Unsafe operations were conducted during the slip and cut of the drill line and an employee was seriously injured.

3/16/00 - 3/16/00

$20,000

2/14/01

250.107(a)
Santa Fe Snyder Corporation

G-2000-031

A derrickhand, who was allowed to remain in the derrick during a pressure test of a Kelly hose, was seriously injured when the hose burst.

3/4/00 - 3/4/00

$24,000

1/30/01

250.107
Millennium Offshore Group, Inc.

G-2000-035

Seven violations involving the bypass of the following:

1) SCSSV on Well A-3
2) PSL LACT Charge Pump #1
3) PSL LACT Charge Pump #2
4) PSL on the Pipeline Pump #1
5) PSL on the Pipeline Pump #2
6) LSL on the Dry Oil Tank
7) LSL on the Wet Oil Tank

5/17/00 - 5/22/00
5/21/00 - 5/22/00

$54,000

8/15/01

250.803(c)(1)
250.803(c)(1)
Amoco Production Company

G-2000-036

The lift capacity for the platform crane was exceeded causing personnel injury and property damage.

1/26/00 - 1/26/00

$23,000

1/13/01

250.120(c)
PANACO, INC

G-2000-037

No annual crane inspection for 1998 and 1999. Gas detection system not tested within required timeframe. SCSSV in Well No. A-5L exceeded 12 month test requirement. Records indicate that SSV's for Wells Nos. A-4L and A-4U were leaking since 10/29/99; valves not immediately repaired or replaced. Since 8/95, unable to test SCSSV in Well No. A-4L due to communication between tubing and production casing above and below valve. Failure to correct missing skirting on heliport; originally cited on 10/14/98.

01/01/96 - 03/17/00
06/02/98 - 07/09/98
11/11/94 - 03/14/00
12/12/99 - 03/16/00
10/14/98 - 03/14/00
02/26/00 - 03/16/00

$525,200

6/7/01

250.20(c)
250.124(a)(1)(ii)
250.87(c)
250.804(a)(4)
250.120(a)
250.804(a)(8)
Energy Resource Technology, Inc.

G-2000-039

The Gas Detection System was not tested for one required quarterly test and one sensor failed when inspected.

1/11/00 - 2/3/00

$12,000

10/30/01

250.804(a)(8)
Forcenergy Inc

G-2000-041

PSHL on flowline for Well No. A-5 was bypassed.

3/23/00 - 3/23/00

$18,000

4/30/01

250.803(c)(1)
Equitable Production Company

G-2000-042

Tubing plugs in Wells Nos. C-5D and C-6 found leaking on January 31, 1999. Not repaired until May 16, 2000.

1/31/99 - 5/16/00

$283,200

5/1/01

250.804(a)(1)(iii)
ATP Oil & Gas Corporation

G-2000-043

Heater treater fire tube stack not insulated. Fire occurred on platform from sprayed condensate onto the heater treater fire tube stack.

5/2/00 - 5/2/00

$15,000

2/13/01

250.803(b)(5)(i)
Apache Corporation

G-2000-046

PSV on the compressor fuel gas filter was blocked out of service.

7/16/00 - 7/25/00

$20,000

1/12/01

250.803(c)(1)
Shell Offshore Inc.

G-2000-048

SCSSV for well JN-1U was bypassed.

2/21/00 - 2/21/00

$10,000

5/25/01

250.803(c)(1)
Energy Resource Technology, Inc.

G-2000-049

Tubing plugs for 15 wells last tested for leakage Sept 1999. Should be checked every 6 months; missed one leakage test per well.

3/2/00 - 5/09/00
3/2/00 - 5/10/00

$45,000

5/17/01

250.804(a)(1)(iii)
250.804 (a)(1)(iii)
Union Oil Company of California

G-2000-051

Did not conduct an annual crane inspection.

10/19/99 - 8/25/00

$10,000

11/29/01

250.120(c)
Energy Resource Technology, Inc.

G-2000-052

Pollution resulted from an improperly maintained skim pile.

4/11/00 - 4/11/00

$20,000

4/26/01

250.300(b)(4)
W & T Offshore, Inc.

G-2000-053

Glycol safety system relay pinned out of service; PSL bypassed on the pipeline; LSH inoperable on sump pile

8/09/00 - 8/09/00
7/27/00 - 7/27/00

$36,000

3/26/01

250.803(c)(1)
250.803(c)(1)
Barrett Resources Corporation

G-2000-054

13 well's SCSSV's not being tested in the required 6 month interval.

2/11/00 - 7/26/00
2/11/00 - 7/26/00
2/13/00 - 7/26/00
2/13/00 - 7/26/00
2/13/00 - 7/26/00
2/20/00 – 7/26/00

$67,000

9/18/01

250.804(a)(1)(iii)
250.804(a)(1)(iii)
250.804(a)(1)(i)
250.804(a)(1)(iii)
250.804(a)(1)(i)
250.804(a)(1)(I)
Freeport-McMoRan Sulphur LLC

G-2000-055

A sulphur fire occurred from welding operations.

6/8/00 - 6/8/00

$17,500

5/5/01

250.107(a)
Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

G-2000-057

The firewater system was inoperable for 81 days.

7/10/00 - 9/28/00

$810,000

6/28/01

250.803(b)(8)
Elf Exploration, Inc.

G-2000-058

PSV on the glycol filter was improperly maintained including a broken valve stem on the isolation valve. The glycol master panel was bypassed on 8/2/2000. The PSV on the glycol contractor was bypassed on 8/7 & 8/2000. The SCSSV for Well A-1 was not tested within the required timeframe (2 6-month tests were missed).

8/2/00 - 8/2/00
6/3/99 - 8/2/00
8/7/00 - 8/8/00
8/8/00 - 8/8/00

$33,000

10/19/01

250.803(c)(1)
250.804(a)(1)(i)
250.803(c)(1)
250.107
Apache Corporation

G-2000-060

The SCSSV in Well A-6 was tested on April 9, 2000, and found to be leaking greater than the allowable leakage rate. For three days the SCSSV was not removed, repaired and reinstalled, or replaced; it was not monitored during this time either.

4/9/00 - 4/11/00

$21,000

8/16/01

250.804(a)(1)(i)
Coastal Oil & Gas Corporation

G-2001-001

Two fires occurred on the same day and unsafe and unworkmanlike operations were conducted in both instances. For both fires, hot work operations were conducted in close proximity of the dry oil tank even though there was prior knowledge of gas escaping from valves on top of the tank.

8/16/00 - 8/16/00
8/16/00 - 8/16/00

$37,000

8/16/01

250.107(a)
250.107(a)
Apache Corporation

G-2001-002

A flash fire occurred when the operator did not properly protect equipment containing hydrocarbons (that was within 35 feet horizontally from the welding area) from slag and sparks.

10/24/00 - 10/24/00

$15,000

11/6/01

250.113(a)
Elf Exploration, Inc.

G-2001-003

Overflow of oil from the bad oil tank and containment system resulted in a flash fire causing serious damage to equipment on platform and the release of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

8/9/00 - 8/9/00
8/9/00 - 8/9/00

$45,000

10/19/01

250.300(a)
250.107(a)
Pogo Producing Company

G-2001-007

Bypassed ESD at boat landing

5/26/00 - 5/26/00

$5,000

7/24/01

250.803(c)(1)
Coastal Oil & Gas Corporation

G-2001-008

Fuel gas scrubber PSHL was in bypass position on production main panel; not flagged nor monitored.

1/14/01 - 1/14/01

$7,500

8/17/01

250.803(c)(1)
Burlington Resources Offshore Inc.

G-2001-011

PSV for 2nd stage compressor discharge set out of range.

11/13/00 - 1/5/01

$27,000

8/15/01

250.804(a)(2)
Apache Corporation

G-2001-012

Drilling operations continued as the air supply line to gas detector used to monitor drilling mud returns was turned off rendering the detector inoperable.

2/9/01 - 2/9/01

$14,000

10/31/01

250.410(c)(2)(iv)
El Paso Production GOM Inc

G-2001-014

One semi-annual test period missed on an SCSSV.

12/1/00 - 1/5/01

$15,000

12/11/01

250.804(a)(1)(i)
Shell Offshore, Inc

G-2001-023

A pollution event occurred as a result of pumps and LSHs on the Dry Oil Tank and Emergency Sump not operating correctly.

3/20/01 - 3/20/01

$20,000

12/20/01

250.300(a)
RME Petroleum Company

G-2001-033

The gas detection system in the mud pit room was inoperable for 3 days.

4/21/01 - 4/23/01

$52,500

12/28/01

250.410(e)(3)
Aera Energy LLC

P-1999-001

Failure to properly maintain pipeline, resulting in a pollution event.

6/7/99

$73,000

5/4/01

250.300(a)
Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

P-1999-002

Failure to replace compromised piping in a timely manner or remove it from service resulted in piping failure and release of 32,000 cf gas with 18,000 ppm H2S, causing damage to facility and placing platform and lives of all personnel on platform in substantial danger.

7/21/99-8/3/99; 8/3/99

$350,000

06/29/01

250.120(a)

Total Penalties Paid: 1/1/01 - 12/31/01

32 Cases: $2,724,900

The following acronyms are used in this table:

ESD

Emergency Shutdown Device

INC

Incident of Non-Compliance

LACT

Liquid Automatic Custody Transfer

LSH

Level Safety High

LSL

Level Safety Low

NON

Notice of Non-Compliance

PSHL

Pressure Safety High/Low

PSL

Pressure Safety Low

PSV

Pressure Safety Valve

SCSSV

Surface Controlled Subsurface Safety Valve

SDV

Shut Down Valve

SSV

Subsurface Valve

The purpose of publishing the penalties summary is to provide information to the public on violations of special concern in OCS operations and to provide an additional incentive for safe and environmentally sound operations.

The Oil Pollution Act (OPA 90) strengthened section 24 of the OCS Lands Act Amendments of 11038. Subtitle B of OPA 90, entitled 'Penalties,' increased the amount of the civil penalty from a maximum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 per violation for each day of noncompliance. More importantly, in cases where a failure to comply with applicable regulations constitutes or constituted a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage to life (including fish and other aquatic life); property; any mineral deposit; or the marine, coastal, or human environment; OPA 90 provided the Secretary of the Interior with the authority to assess a civil penalty without regard to the requirement of expiration of a period of time allowed for corrective action.

On August 8, 1997, the MMS published new regulations(22 KB PDF) implementing the civil penalty provisions of the OCS Lands Act. Written in 'plain English,' the new question-and-answer format provides a better understanding of the OCS civil penalty process. In addition, the provisions of OPA 90 require the Secretary of the Interior to adjust the maximum civil penalty to reflect any increases in the Consumer Price Index. The new rule increased the maximum civil penalty to $25,000 per day per violation.