HOUSTON, April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) today announced an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of Colorado to improve emission control systems on a number of oil storage tanks located within the Denver-Julesberg Basin (DJ Basin) that may no longer comply with air regulations.
Based on the EPA and Colorado's initial review of a relatively small number of older tank batteries, Noble Energy elected to expand the consent decree to identify additional opportunities to reduce emissions within the DJ Basin.
"By working together with the federal government and the State of Colorado to reduce emissions we are doing the right thing," said Gary Willingham, Noble Energy Executive Vice President of Operations. "We're implementing a serious action plan through which we will evaluate tank batteries throughout our DJ Basin operations, remove the tank batteries that should be removed, improve others and implement enhanced environmental strategies."
In accordance with the agreement's schedule, Noble Energy will evaluate, monitor, verify, and report on the adequate design, operation and maintenance of certain aspects of its storage tank systems. This process, which is anticipated to continue into 2019, will result in expenditures to upgrade storage tank systems. The system upgrade expenditures cannot yet be quantified but are not expected to be material for our operations in the DJ Basin. Noble Energy will also pay $4.95 million in civil penalties, provide $4 million in funding for supplemental environmental projects and $4.5 million in mitigation projects.
Mitigation measures in the agreement will further reduce emissions. They include retrofitting engines to run on natural gas, upgrading control systems for transferring oil and other liquids from storage tanks to tanker trucks, and supporting scientific research on sampling and analytical methods for managing pressurized liquids. Noble Energy will also provide funding for Front Range air quality programs, including incentives for the change out of wood-burning stoves and gasoline-powered lawn mowers.
A notice of the agreement between Noble Energy, EPA, DOJ and the State of Colorado has been filed with the U.S. District Court in Denver. The consent decree will be published in the Federal Register and subject to public comment for 30 days.
Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and natural gas exploration and production. The company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL. Further information is available at www.noblecolorado.com.
This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities law. Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "will," "should," "may," and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact and reflect Noble Energy's current views about future events. They include estimates of oil and natural gas reserves and resources, estimates of future production, assumptions regarding future oil and natural gas pricing, planned drilling activity, future results of operations, projected cash flow and liquidity, business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations. No assurances can be given that the forward-looking statements contained in this news release will occur as projected, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and assumptions that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks include, without limitation, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, the ability to replace reserves, environmental risks, drilling and operating risks, exploration and development risks, competition, government regulation or other actions, the ability of management to execute its plans to meet its goals and other risks inherent in Noble Energy's business that are discussed in its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are also available from Noble Energy's offices or website, http://www.nobleenergyinc.com. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made. Noble Energy does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.