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Dec 19, 2014 3:28 PM

Arctic offshore drill company enters guilty pleas

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) A drilling company has pleaded guilty to committing environmental and maritime crimes in Alaska's Arctic.

Bernie G. Wolford Jr., president of Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, appeared in federal court in Anchorage on Friday after reaching an agreement with prosecutors earlier this month.

Wolford said the $8.2 million fine and $4 million in community service payments would be paid Friday. He declined to comment further after the hearing.

Noble operated the drill ship Noble Discoverer and the drill unit Kulluk in support of Royal Dutch Shell PLC's offshore drilling efforts in 2012.

According to the agreement, Noble Drilling's violations included keeping false records or failing to record details surrounding its handling of oil on the vessels. The company also failed to notify the U.S. Coast Guard of hazardous conditions aboard the Noble Discoverer.


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