Noble Energy-Chevron fined NIS 3.2 million for exceeding emissions cap

Environmental Protection Ministry slams US energy firm for alleged ‘severe’ violations of air pollution limits at offshore Leviathan gas rig

A view of the Leviathan natural gas processing rig from Dor Habonim Beach Nature Reserve, on January 1, 2020. (Flash90)
A view of the Leviathan natural gas processing rig from Dor Habonim Beach Nature Reserve, on January 1, 2020. (Flash90)

The Environmental Protection Ministry on Sunday announced Noble Energy will be fined over NIS 3.2 million (around $983,000) for alleged air pollution violations at its offshore Leviathan gas rig.

A ministry statement said inspectors found that pollution emissions were 120-180 percent of the permitted amount in January and February.

The Environmental Protection Ministry also accused Noble of several violations relating to the operation of flare stacks at the gas platform.

The ministry described the violations as “severe” and called on the Chevron-owned firm to adhere to the conditions of its emissions permit.

“Chevron will have to do its homework and learn the lessons of the blatant violations of Noble Energy,” Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said in a statement.

She added: “We’ll continue to operate on the principle of ‘the polluter pays’ and work to continue the close supervision of factories, to ensure full compliance with the terms of the emissions permit.”

Chevron issued a statement commenting that had “received communication from Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and will respond after a thorough review.

“We are committed to complying with all the laws and regulations of the State of Israel including all permits granted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection,” it said.

The penalty comes after the ministry fined Noble NIS 3.78 million last month for violating its permit on discharges into the sea.

Noble Energy, which also operates the Tamar gas platform, has found itself in the ministry’s crosshairs on several other occasions.

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