In response to EPA enforcement actions pursued under provisions of the Clean Air Act, Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. and Shell Offshore Inc. agreed to pay civil penalties associated with alleged violations of air permits at two of its drilling operations on the Arctic Shelf.
EPA had issued two Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air permits to Shell Oil – one permit to Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. in 2011, for operation of the Discoverer drillship in the Chukchi Sea and the other permit to Shell Offshore, Inc. in 2012, for operation of the Kulluk Conical Drilling Unit in the Beaufort Sea. The permits authorize air emissions from oil and gas exploration drilling by the drillship and a supporting fleet.
EPA alleged twenty-three violations of the permit conditions for Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. during the 2012 operating season. According to a recently released Consent Agreement and Final Order dated September 5, 2013, Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $710,000.
Likewise EPA alleged eleven violations of the permit conditions by Shell Offshore Inc. during the 2012 operating season. A separate Consent Agreement and Final Order also dated September 5, 2013 indicates that Shell Offshore Inc. has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $390,000.
EPA continues to aggressively enforce OCS/PSD permits on the Arctic Shelf in an effort to further minimize environmental impacts from Arctic Shelf oil and gas operations.