What We Do / 2011 Civil Penalties

2011 Civil Penalties

 

The goal of the BSEE 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.

2011 Civil Penalties Summary
(1/1/2011 - 12/31/2011)

Operator Name
and Case No.

Violation
and
Date(s)

Penalty Paid and
Date Paid

Regulation(s) Violated
30 CFR)

Merit Energy Company, LLC

(Gulf Coast Operator, LLC)

G-2010-010

During a BOEMRE inspection, it was discovered that a tubing plug was set above the mud line. There were also several severely corroded critical areas on the equipment and platform

 

22-FEB-2010 - 22-FEB-2010

22-FEB-2010 - 22-FEB-2010

$70,000

 

2/25/11

 

250.801(e)

250.107

Merit Energy Company

G-2010-012

Curing the course of an inspection the following items were discovered: Containment decks had multiple areas of corrosion; Gas detectors were not in service; the quarters building was within 10' of production; there were missing records of subsurface safety devices being tested; compressor PSV's were set greater than the maximum allowable pressure; and there were multiple violations of unsafe and unworkmanlike conditions.

 

16-FEB-2010-16-FEB-2010

16-FEB-2010-16-FEB-2010

16-FEB-2010-16-FEB-2010

16-FEB-2010-16-FEB-2010

16-FEB-2010-16-FEB-2010

$80,000

 

6/21/11

250.300(b)

250.804(a)

250.803

250.803

250.107

Fairways Offshore Exploration, Inc.

G-2010-015

A leak occurred on the main hoist winch check valve plug due to corrosion. In accordance with API RP 2D, critical components were corroded and numerous hydraulic hoses and fittings were not replaced as

soon as practical.

 

18-MAY-2009–19-DEC-2009

$40,000

 

 

1/21/11

250.108

PetroQuest Energy L.L.C.

G-2010-016

During the course of an inspection, an inspector observed an employee working on the top deck (above 10'), without a safety harness during a crane operation.

 

18-FEB-2010-18-FEB-2010

$15,000

 

8/3/11

 

 

250.107(a)

Stone Energy Corporation

G-2010-018

A BOEMRE inspector

observed a sheen originating from an unmanned production facility.  After

further investigation, it was discovered that the sheen covering the facility was due

to a secondary release.

 

01-APR-2010-08-APR-2010

08-APR-2010-08-APR-2010

$45,000

 

7/11/11

250.401

250.300(a)

 

W&T Offshore, INC.

 

G-2010-019

During the course of a BOEMRE investigation into a gas release and platform shut-in incident, it was discovered that a plumber's plug was installed for

isolation of process piping. Lessee failed to comply with company Lock Out/Tag Out Procedures.

 

27-JAN-2010 - 06-FEB-2010

$180,000

 

1/19/11

250.107

Apache Corporation

(Island Operators Co. Inc.)

G-2010-020

During the course of an inspection, it was discovered that the PSHL sensor connection for the oil transfer pump discharge line was found moved from upstream to downstream of the check valve.  The needle valve, where the PSHL should have been connected (upstream of the check valve), was found to be in the open position and was not plugged.  As a result of the PSHL sensor connection being moved downstream of the check valve, a pressure safety low (PSL) sensor between the check valve and the pump could not be sensed.

 

21-JUN-2010-21-JUN-2010

$20,000

 

8/8/2011

250.107

Gryphon Exploration Corporation

(Wood Group Production Services)

G-2010-021

During an onsite inspection, BOEMRE inspectors discovered that a crane was in operation without an operational boom angle indicator to off load and load wireline equipment.

 

27-MAY-2011-27-MAY-2011

$5,000

 

5/13/11

250.108

Northstar Offshore Energy Partners, LLC

(Offshore Contract Services LLC)

G-2010-022

During the course of a BSEE inspection, inspectors observed a deck opening adjacent to the well bay and living quarters that was improperly barricaded and missing handrailing; the operation was immediately shut down.  The investigation revealed that remedial wireline operations were being conducted when the violation was cited.  Personnel rigged up the wireline equipment and also removed two sections of handrailing from the deck area where the work was being performed.  The two sections of hand-railing were left uninstalled and rope was used to replace the handrailing.  At the time of the inspection, the rope on the west side of the wireline unit was not in place.  The well bay in this area is more than 10 feet below the wireline unit.

 

28-JUL-2010-28-JUL-2010

$15,000

 

10/20/11

250.107

Mariner Energy, Inc.

G-2010-023

During the course of the BOEMRE inspection, the

inspectors discovered that the casing pressure had increased greater than 4900

pisg for 46 days which invalidated the departure approval for sustained casing pressure of 4700 psig.

 

12-AUG-2009-18-JUL-2010

$460,000

 

3/30/11

 

GOM Shelf, LLC

(Island Operators Co, Inc.)

G-2010-024

During the course of a BOEMRE inspection, violations were discovered throughout the facility.  Violations included missing grating on the boat landing (creating a open-hole hazard in the path of an egress route); a ladder cage to the (+10') elevation was discovered with angle iron which had broken loose (this also creates a potential fall hazard in the event of emergency egress to the

boat landing), and several casing valves on a gas well (which had a casing pressure of 1700 psi) had

severely corroded grease fittings.

 

26-NOV-2009-01-AUG-2010

$35,000

 

2/24/11

250.107

Arena Offshore, LP

(Quality Production Management)

G-2010-025

During the course of a BOEMRE inspection, inspectors discovered that two bridle isolation valves for the level safety low (LSL) sensor on the oil storage tank were manually closed, which placed the LSL in a bypassed out-of-service mode.

 

10-SEP-2010-10-SEP-2010

$15,000

 

4/4/11

250. 803(c)

Energy Resources Technology GOM, Inc.

G-2010-026

In March, 2010, there was a fire on the platform. After the fire, it was determined that a nipple, on the discharge piping of gas driven oil pipeline pump, developed a crack and sprayed produced oil in the vicinity of the engine's exhaust, which caused vibration issues. As a result of the investigation after the fire by BOEMRE, it was determined that the operator knew of the vibration issues and did not address them in a timely manner.

 

07-MAR-2010-10-MAR-2010 

$105,000

 

8/25/11

250.107

Merit Energy Company, LLC

G-2010-027

During the course of a BOEM inspection, the inspection revealed a failure to correct corroded deck drain and produced water lines.

 

3-MAR-2010-20-AUG-2010

$21,250

 

6/21/11

250.107

Merit Energy Company, LLC

G-2011-002

During the course of an inspection, it was discovered that the purge mechanical

ventilation system for the Mud Logging Unit (MLU) building, placed in a Class 1

Division 1 Hazardous Area, was found switched to manual bypass. It was also

discovered that the fresh air intake for the MLU building was located within the Class 1 Division 1 hazardous area.

 

26-AUG-2010-26-AUG-2010

24-AUG-2010-26-AUG-2010

$100,000

 

5/26/11

250.459

250.459

Apache Corporation

G-2011-003

During the course of a BOEMRE investigation into an injury, it was discovered that the operator failed to

assure that personnel followed the Operator's Fall Protection Policy while working aloft.

 

18-OCT-2010-18-OCT-2010

$25,000

 

8/31/11

250.107

Contago Operators, Inc.

G-2011-004

During the course of a BOEMRE investigation into an incident involving a flash fire and injury, it was discovered that the operator failed to follow Lock Out-Tag Out procedures that were specifically identified in the Job Safety Analysis.

 

20-SEP-2010-20-SEP-2010

$25,000

 

10/12/11

 

250.107(a)

Fairways Offshore Exploration, Inc.

(DeLeon & Associates, LLC)

G-2011-008

During the course of a BOEMRE inspection, the

inspector discovered the Water Skimmer Vessel was not operating in accordance with an approved modification.

 

9-NOV-2010-9-NOV-2010

$25,000

 

8/31/11

250.1202(a)

Hilcorp Energy GOM, LLC

G-2011-009

During the course of a BOEMRE inspection, the inspectors discovered a surface controlled subsurface safety valve (SCSSV) was blocked and inoperable.  This rendered the safety device incapable of performing its designed function.  It was not blocked / inoperable due to startup, testing or maintenance and was not flagged or being monitored by personnel.  It was determined that the isolation valve on the main well panel was placed in the closed position while returning the Well to production after an upset and was inadvertently left isolated.  As a result, this action would have prevented the SCSSV from functioning if either the Emergency Shut-down System or Fire Detection Shut-in System would have been activated. 

 

19-OCT-2010-19-OCT-2010

$170,000

 

12/21/11

250.803

Merit Energy Company, LC

G-2011-011

During the course of a BOEMRE investigation into a flash fire injury occurrence, it was discovered that unsafe and unworkmanlike operations were present while attempting to establish

fluid returns from Well A-1.  This resulted in 1st degree burns to the pump operator. It was also discovered that the coil tubing head was leaking oil and gas and was within 10' of the facility gas compressor, which was

operating during the coil tubing operations.

 

01-OCT-02-OCT-2010

01-OCT-02-OCT-2010

$80,000

 

7/8/11

250.107

250.107

Maritech Resources, Inc.

G-2011-012

During the course of the BOEMRE investigation into a fire with injury incident, it was

discovered that the process piping was not properly isolated and the flammable

contents rendered inert prior to utilizing a cutting torch to perform cutting operations.

 

28-MAY-2010-28-MAY-2010

$30,000

 

8/19/11

250.113

Energy XXI GOM, LLC

G-2011-013

During the course of a BOEMRE investigation into a minor release of condensate, It was discovered  that the operator failed to prevent

unauthorized release of hydrocarbons and failed to conduct operations in a safe

and workmanlike manner during repair operations of drainage piping.

 

29-JUL-2010-29-JUL-2010

29-JUL-2010-29-JUL-2010

$40,000

 

9/19/11

250.300(a)

250.107

Energy Resource Technology GOM, Inc.

G-2011-014

During the course of a BOEMRE inspection, the

inspector discovered that the

Temperature Safety Element  loop protecting the Oil Heater Treater and associated fired components had been disconnected and plugged.

 

08-NOV-2010-15-DEC-2010

$20,000

 

8/25/11

250.802(b)

JX Nippon Oil Exploration (U.S.A.) Limited

G-2011-015

During the course of a BOEMRE investigation, it was determined that Nippon did not perform the decommissioning operations in a safe and workmanlike manner.  The operation involved the cutting of the tack welds that attach the skid base of the wood and fiberglass constructed office building to the platform deck structure.  Hot slag from the cutting operation ignited the construction materials inside the walls of the building.

28-SEP-2010-28-SEP-2010

$25,000

 

5/19/11

250.107

Merit Energy Company, LLC

G-2011-019

During the course of a BOEMRE inspection, the inspectors discovered the pressure safety valve (PSV) on the first stage compressor discharge with the manual block valve on the inlet of the PSV was in the closed position, rendering the PSV inoperable.

 

14-APR-2011-14-APR-2011

$10,000

 

10/4/2011

250.803(c)

Apache Corporation

G-2011-020

During the course of a BOEMRE inspection, it was discovered that the LSH and

LSL for the Condensate Storage Tank was

found in bypass and not flagged or monitored by personnel. In addition it

was also discovered that the PSL for the Condensate

Charge Pumps was also

found in bypass and not flagged or monitored by personnel.

 

05-APR-2011-05-APR-1011

05-APR-2011-05-APR-1011

05-APR-2011-05-APR-1011

$60,000

 

8/30/11

250.803

250.803

250.803

Hilcorp Energy GOM, LLC

(Flow Petroleum Services, Inc.)

G-2011-026

During the course of a BOEMRE inspection, the inspectors discovered that the bypass selector switch on the control panel for the LSL sensor was found to be bypassed and not flagged or monitored by personnel.  This rendered the LSL unable to perform the approved design function to provide primary protection from a leak in the pressurized vessel and/or associated equipment.  This created the potential for hazardous accumulation, a gas blowby situation, and/or release of hydrocarbons and a threat to personnel, environment, and property.

 

05-JUL-2011-05JUL-2011

$15,000

 

11/18/11

250.803(c)

Mariner Energy, Inc.

G-2011-027

The BSEE Inspectors were conducting a routine announced onsite inspection of the platform and well decommissioning operations.  During the inspection, the inspectors discovered the

handrail, which guarded the emergency exit area, was broken and lying down exposing personnel to a

5 1/2- by 5 1/2-foot opening and preventing access to the emergency egress ladder.  It was also discovered that the newly created open hole was unprotected/non-barricaded.  This constituted a threat of serious and/or immediate injury to personnel.

 

08-JUL-2011-08-JUL-2011

$25,000

 

11/17/11

250.107(a)

Apache Corporation

(Island Operators Co., Inc.)

G-2011-028

During the course of a BSEE inspection, the inspector discovered several violations throughout the facility.  The violations were:

1.  Sections of grating were missing on the boat landing, creating an open-hole hazard in the path of an egress route.  The open hole was also discovered unprotected  and not barricaded. 

2.  The wellhead / casing deck supports had severe corrosion, pitting, and holes thereby creating an unsafe work area. 

3.  The wellhead / casing head for 2 wells were severely rusted requiring immediate repair and/or replacement thereby creating a threat.

4.  Casing valves grease fittings were severely rusted and corroded requiring immediate replacement.  

 

01-JUL-2011-01-JUL-2011

$80,000

250.107

Pacific Operators Offshore, LLC

P-2010-001

During an inspection, it was discovered that employees were working at the end of a door pulling hoses up from the drill deck 15' below. The door did not have a hand rail or a chain to prevent personnel from falling to the drill deck below and they were not wearing fall protection.  Also, on the drill deck, an existing chain was not in its proper position to present a barrier to alert workers of a fall hazard.

 

22-APR-2010-22-APR-2010

22-APR-2010-22-APR-2010

$30,000

 

5/18/11

 

 

250.107(a)

250.401

Total Penalties Paid: 1/1/11 - 12/31/11

30 Cases: $1,866,250

 

The following acronyms are used in this table:

LSH

Level Safety High

LSL

Level Safety Low

MLU

Mud Logging Unit

PSV

Pressure Safety Valve

PSL

Pressure Safety Low

PSHL

Pressure safety high and low

SCSSV

Surface Controlled Subsurface Safety 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.