What We Do / 2004 Civil Penalties

2004 Civil Penalties

 

2004 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.

2004 Civil Penalties Summary
 All Penalties Paid in Calendar 2004
 
(01/01/2004 - 12/31/2004)

Operator Name
and Case No.

Violation and Date(s)

Penalty Paid and
Date Paid

Regulation(s) Violated
(30 CFR)

Dominion Exploration & Production, Inc.

G-2002-049

A fire resulted during a welding operation when operator failed to properly protect equipment containing hydrocarbons. Equipment was located on deck below immediately beneath welding site.

08/14/02 – 08/14/02
08/15/02 – 08/15/02

$28,000 

02/11/04

30 CFR 250.107
30 CFR 250.113

TDC Energy LLC

(Island Operators Co. Inc.)

G-2003-005

The operating company was conducting operations without an H2S Contingency Plan with a confirmed presence of H2S in concentrations and volumes that could potentially result in atmospheric concentrations of 20 ppm or more of H2S.

10/29/02 – 10/29/02

$25,000

05/07/04

30 CFR 250.417(f)

Pogo Producing Company

G-2003-007

The sump pump ABH-1460 was isolated from the sump tank by a closed valve, rendering the pump inoperable.

01/29/03 – 01/29/03

$10,000

03/12/04

30 CFR 250.300(b)

Murphy Exploration & Production Company

G-2003-009

Relay for the departing gas pipeline (KAH-0056) PSHL pilots was found pinned out of service

3/17/03 – 3/17/03

$10,000

6/29/04

30 CFR 250.1004

BP America Production Company

(Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.)

G-2003-010

The Rig's Gas Detection System was bypassed with ongoing drilling operations being conducted.
 

03/01/03 – 03/18/03

$25,000

02/03/04

30 CFR 250.410(e)(3)

Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

G-2003-011

Gas detector protecting the generator building was found in the bypass position.

03/07/03 – 03/10/03

$20,000

01/15/04

30 CFR 250.803(c)

Devon Louisiana Corporation

G-2003-012

The production process group by-pass selector valve was found in the by-pass mode.

09/13/02 – 09/13/02

$30,000

04/01/04

30 CFR 250.803(c)

Helis Oil & Gas Company, L.L.C.

G-2003-014

Surface-controlled subsurface safety valve for Well B-1 was blocked out of service.

05/29/03 – 05/30/03

$10,000

02/04/04

30 CFR 250.803(c)

El Paso Production GOM Inc.

G-2003-015

The LSH on the 3rd stage suction scrubber was bypassed and was not flagged or monitored.

06/12/03 – 06/13/03

$12,000

01/09/04

30 CFR 250.803(c)

GOM Shelf LLC

(Production Systems, Inc.)

G-2003-017

Pollution resulted due to an inoperable drain sump system.

06/19/03 – 06/24/03
06/24/03 – 06/24/03

$35,000

03/04/04

30 CFR 250.300(b)
30 CFR 250.300(a)

BP Exploration & Production Inc.

G-2003-018

A fire occurred involving the as-built diverter system leading to damage to property and the environment. The diverter system was not installed as in the approved plan, had inadequate supports, added right angle turns at the ends, and did not provide for downwind diversions.

08/06/02 – 08/09/02
08/06/02 – 08/09/02

$190,000

07/06/04

30 CFR 250.409(d)(1)
30 CFR 250.415

Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

(Production Management Industries, L.L.C.)

G-2004-001

While cleaning a low pressure separator, the Confined Space Entry policy was not completely followed which resulted in an explosion and flash fire that injured four employees.

06/14/02 – 06/15/02

$50,000

 

08/02/04

30 CFR 250.107(a)

Union Oil Company of California

(Coastal Production Services, Inc.)

G-2004-002

Rusted out hole in grating and missing toe (kick) plates in two locations.

 

05/09/03 – 05/09/03

$35,000

07/26/04

30 CFR 250.107

Comstock Offshore, LLC

G-2004-004

Tubing plugs for Well 01 and Well 01D were found leaking on March 31, 2002. Not repaired until September 18, 2002.

03/31/02 – 09/18/02

$172,000

07/09/04

30 CFR 250.804(a)(1)

Anadarko E&P Company LP

(Island Operators Co. Inc.)

G-2004-006

Subsurface safety valve in Well C-21 was found leaking and left in service without being repaired or replaced for 129 days.

07/29/02 – 12/04/02

$96,750

08/20/04

30 CFR 250.804(a)(1)

Walter Oil & Gas Corporation

G-2004-007

The Operator failed to implement the H2S Contingency Plan while performing operations on a well with a confirmed presence of H2S in concentrations and volumes that could potentially result in atmospheric concentration of 20 ppm or more of H2S.

12/03/03 – 12/04/03

$40,000

09/01/04

30 CFR 250.490(f)(1-13)

Murphy Exploration & Production Company – USA

G-2004-008

The SCSSV, which was being used as a tubing plug, was found in the open position with the hydraulic control line pressured up.

03/30/04 – 03/31/04

$15,000

10/22/04

30  CFR 250.801(f)

Newfield Exploration Company

G-2004-009

The LSH on the 2nd stage scrubber was found in the bypassed mode rendering it inoperable. It was not flagged nor being monitored.

03/29/04 – 04/01/04

$12,000

11/08/04

30 CFR 250.803(c)

Murphy Exploration & Production Company - USA

G-2004-010

The required surface safety valve (SSV-2) for Well CA-7 was found capped in the open position and inadvertently left bypassed for 8 days.

03/25/04 – 04/01/04

$40,000

10/21/04

30 CFR 250.803(c)

Apache Corporation

(Island Operators Co. Inc.)

G-2004-015

The main safety panel for the Water Bath Heater, the Fired Component, and the Water Bath Pumps was found in the bypassed position and it was not flagged or being monitored by personnel

06/21/04 – 06/21/04

$5,000

12/22/04

30 CFR 250.803(c)

Aera Energy LLC

P-2004-001

Aera appealed this INC to IBLA (see description below). Through DOI solicitor (Conforti), Aera proposed to settle this INC with a payment of $25,000. MMS accepted Aera's offer via letter from DOI Solicitor to Aera's legal firm (Bingham McCutchen, LLP of Walnut Creek, CA) on January 22, 2004. The INC was not withdrawn and Aear paid $25,000 on 02/04/04.

07/07/02

$25,000

02/04/04

30 CFR 250.107(a)(1)

Total Penalties Paid: 01/01/2004 - 12/31/2004

21 Cases: ($885,750)

The following acronyms are used in this table:

ESD

Emergency Shutdown Device

H2S

Hydrogen Sulfide

INC

Incident of Non-Compliance

LACT

Liquid Automatic Custody Transfer

LSH

Level Safety High

LSL

Level Safety Low

MAWP

Maximum Allowable Working Pressure

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.