Shell has agreed to pay a total of $1.1 million in fines Thursday after the Environmental Protection Agecy said the gas company violated air permit regulations during the 2012 drilling season in Alaska.
The EPA contends in a settlement that Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc.’s Noble Discoverer vessel emitted more nitrogen oxide than allowed by the Clean Air Act while working in the Chuckchi Sea near Alaska. The EPA also said that the Noble Discoverer’s exhaust reduction system was not in working order and the vessel did not have the right kind of ventilation-monitoring or emission monitoring systems. Those violations earned Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. a $710,000 fine.
Shell Offshore Inc.’s Kulluk vessel also exceeded nitrogen emission limits while working in the Beaufort Sea, and the EPA said in a settlement that the Kulluk’s crew did not submit emission test results according to the Clean Air Act. Those violations earned Shell Offshore, Inc. a $390,000 fine.
Shell spokesman Curtis Smith told Politico’s Morning Energy Friday that Shell didn’t exceed its own allowance for overall yearly emissions and that the emissions they were fined for had no harmful effects on nearby residents.
Smith added in his statement that after the 2012 drilling season, “we now better understand how emissions control equipment actually functions in Arctic conditions.”