U.S. Reaches $1 Million Settlement with Noble for Oil Spills

Noble Energy Inc. will pay $1 million and take actions to prevent future oil spills at Colorado tank batteries as part of a settlement with the United States government for alleged Clean Water Act Violations, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday. 

“’This agreement will help prevent future oil discharges to Colorado’s waters by requiring Noble to invest in improved spill containment and response measures at all tank battery sites operating in floodplains,’” Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA Region 8’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, said in the press release. 

According to the lawsuit against Noble and its subsidiaries Noble Midstream Partners LP and Noble Midstream Services LLC, alleged CWA violations include discharging oil from the State M36 Facility into the Cache la Poudre River in 2014 and not following prevention and response regulations for oil spills at the State M36 and Wells Ranch facilities. 

The settlement requires Noble to install steel containment berms, remote monitoring sensors and anchors at all of its active tank batteries in the Colorado floodplains. The company must also implement and report on oil spill response training and drills at the Wells Ranch facility. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is used by federal agencies to respond to oil spills, will receive the $1 million, the EPA press release stated. 

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.