Anadarko agrees to pay penalty for Wyoming oil spills

Anadarko Petroleum and two of its units will pay $1.05 million in fines and upgrade their spill-prevention plans as part of a settlement for oil spills in Wyoming, according to US government agencies.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, May 7 -- Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and two of its units will pay $1.05 million in fines and upgrade their spill-prevention plans as part of a settlement for oil spills in Wyoming, according to US government agencies.

The US Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency said Anadarko and units Howell Corp. and Howell Petroleum Corp. also will spend more than $8 million to implement plans to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act.

According to the consent decree, filed in US District Court in Cheyenne, Wyo., Anadarko and its Howell units will pay the fine and also will upgrade and implement appropriate spill-prevention plans and develop and implement facility response plans.

DOJ and EPA said the consent decree also requires the three companies to implement "a multiphased integrity and mitigation plan that incorporates inspection, monitoring, testing, data collection, and failure analysis activities."

According to a complaint filed at the same time as the consent decree, Anadarko and the two other firms allegedly discharged harmful quantities of oil from its facility in Wyoming on more than 35 occasions between Jan. 26, 2003, and Oct. 19, 2008.

The complaint alleges that more than 31,300 bbl of oily water and oil were released during the spills and resulted in an observable film, sheen or discoloration on the surface of the impacted water or shoreline.

The spills occurred on oil production fields in Park, Johnson, and Natrona counties and resulted in the pollutants being discharged into the tributaries or drainages of Silver Tip Creek and Salt Creek, which are tributaries to the Clarks Fork and Powder rivers, respectively.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

More in Drilling & Production