Shell’s Arctic oil drilling contractor fined $12.2m

The contractor hired by Shell during its Arctic drilling operations in 2012 is to plead guilty to eight felony charges for environmental and safety violations. Noble Drilling, owner and operator […]

Register now!

By Priyanka Shrestha

The contractor hired by Shell during its Arctic drilling operations in 2012 is to plead guilty to eight felony charges for environmental and safety violations.

Noble Drilling, owner and operator of the Noble Discoverer and operator of the Shell-owned Kulluk, has agreed to pay $12.2 million (£7.8m) in fines and community service payments and will be placed on probation for four years.

Its parent company, London-based Noble Corporation, will also implement an environmental management system for all its mobile offshore drilling units, according to the settlement.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Noble admitted it knowingly made false entries and failed to record its collection, transfer, storage and disposal of oil in the Noble Discoverer’s and the Kulluk’s oil record books in 2012, the US Department of Justice said.

The drilling company added it has made significant improvements to the Noble Discoverer since it entered the shipyard in 2013.

It went on: “Noble noted it had strengthened its training programmes to ensure its operations more aptly reflect the company’s deep commitment to safety, compliance and environmental protection.”