Noble Settles with the Dept of Justice

LONDON, Dec. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE) today announced that it has reached a final settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ), concluding a two-year investigation into the Company’s operations and systems aboard the drillship Noble Discoverer. The settlement agreement also covers certain record keeping issues related to the Kulluk drilling rig, which was previously crewed by Noble personnel. Under the terms of the agreement, Noble will pay $8.2 million in fines and $4 million toward community service as designated by the DOJ. Noble stated that it has taken responsibility for these actions and assisted in the investigation and in implementing changes in its vessel and management process.

These charges principally relate to deficiencies and maintenance issues raised by the U.S. Coast Guard during an inspection of the Noble Discoverer following a successful drilling season in offshore Alaska during 2012.

Issues noted related to the Kulluk focused on recordkeeping. Concerns related to the Noble Discoverer have been addressed during the renovation and modernization of the rig which occurred as part of an extensive shipyard program conducted in Korea and Singapore. In addition to these improvements and upgrades to the vessel, Noble noted that it had strengthened its training programs to ensure that its operations more aptly reflect the Company’s deep commitment to safety, compliance and environmental protection.

The DOJ credited Noble’s efforts to resolve this matter, noting, “Noble promptly commenced an internal investigation and instituted new training of its employees acrossNorth America related to MARPOL and its International Safety Management Code. Noble also enhanced existing training programs and compliance policies, and voluntarily began the proactive implementation of a comprehensive compliance plan which will govern the conduct of its employees with respect to the safety and environmental issues raised by this investigation.”

Some of the mechanical and operational enhancements made to the Discoverer include:

•	Replacement of the main propulsion system and the power generation system.
•	Enhancements to environmental compliance policies and associated training.
•	Improvements to various bilge water collection systems and related record keeping processes.

Many of the Company’s own initiatives were incorporated into an Environmental Compliance Program (ECP), which was part of the settlement agreement reached with the Department of Justice today.

I would like to take this opportunity to be the first to congratulate the fine management team at Noble Drilling for the lovely spanking of their collective peepees

Helluva job ya did Brownie!

uh oh … it was to be expected somehow. But exactly what they don’t need if they want to move north again in 2015.

his might be a killer, unless they can spin it well.

Didn’t the USCG inspect these two rigs before they went to Alaska? Realize the Discoverer is dated, but how could it become such a train wreck in such a short time frame? Wonder how much the whistleblower gets, and who it was. Anyone have any thoughts there???

[QUOTE=The Commodore;149367]Didn’t the USCG inspect these two rigs before they went to Alaska? Realize the Discoverer is dated, but how could it become such a train wreck in such a short time frame? Wonder how much the whistleblower gets, and who it was. Anyone have any thoughts there???[/QUOTE]

I am sure considerable political pressure was put on the USCG OCMI in Alaska to greenlight these rigs before the season started in 2012 and even after the NOBLE DECREPIT dragged her anchor to end up ass on the beach right in front of the MSO Dutch Harbor’s office. After that, I believe the USCG finally had enough of the bullshit and someone finally decided to start looking hard at the N.D. after the stack fire coming alongside the dock in Dutch. When it lost propulsion enroute to Seaward was the last straw. At that point Shell and their political pull be DAMNED! It was time to bring the boom down on the DECREPIT!

Sweet, sweet music to this Alaskan mariner’s ears…


after all this the USCG may also leave no stone unturned when inspecting the vessels, once they’re back in Seattle or wherever.

They better foresee a loooong window for this work before hoping to get permits and certificats and start sailing to Dutch H.

personally, with the severe downturn in oil prices presently, I cannot see in any way how Shell could justify a 2015 return attempt in the Chukchi or Beaufort Seas. When Shell announced the request for an extension on their leases a month or so ago, I believe that was tantamount to an admission that there would be no attempt to drill in the Arctic again by them for the foreseeable future.

Now they are stuck paying the dayrate for the NOBLE DECREPIT and the AIVIQ. I suppose the N.D. can be sent to drill somewhere obscure but it will not be anywhere serious and the AIVIQ will continue to hold up the dock in Everett. Does ECO still have a full crew on the Moribund Blue Elephant?

when it does come time for Shell to return to Dutch Harbor and the Arctic, it had better be with new people in every key position who have prior successful Arctic Alaskan experience. That will be the hardest order to comply with but not in impossible however it will be VERY expensive. I sure wish Shell hadn’t stifled MaineCheng from posting top this forum. His commentary was candid, insightful and refreshing regarding what many like myself were thinking was going to be an offshore boom for us like no other we have experienced. I am pretty darned sure I will be retired before this “really big show” opens at a vaudeville theater near you.

ironic that I run across this just now

[B]Arctic Offshore won’t be developed in my lifetime, says Leonid Fedun[/B]


MOSCOW (Bloomberg) – Lukoil’ s V.P., Leonid Fedun has said that the development of crude reserves on a significant scale won’t happen in his lifetime; it’s just too expensive.

“I’ve always been skeptical as far as the Arctic projects are concerned,” says Leonid Fedun. “If something happens, it’s not within my lifetime.”

Brent crude oil prices have tumbled almost $45 a barrel since June, losing 7% alone after OPEC declined to cut production in the face of surging U.S. shale production.

Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s CEO and an ally of President Vladimir Putin, has spearheaded drilling in the Arctic Ocean, claiming a billion-barrel find earlier this year. He has said, the area could become one of the world’s most important oil-producing regions.

Fedun said, using technology to wring every possible drop from Russia’s existing fields is a far better use of capital than virgin development in the Arctic Ocean. "That’s more efficient and simpler rather than drilling in the Arctic,” added Fedun.


what the FUCK is Shell going to do with the AIVIQ? I say they should first buy it outright from ECO then see if they can sell it as a uber megayacht to some rich dude who wants the Baddest Blue Boy on the Block. Maybe they can get 25cents back on the dollar?