Ahtna subsidiary gets reduction in huge fine for violations at gas well

State regulators considerably lowered the penalty issued to an Ahtna Inc. drilling subsidiary in a ultimate order issued Wednesday after firm leaders admitted fuel nicely violations and rectified them.

The Alaska Oil and Fuel Conservation Fee initially imposed a wonderful of $380,000 on Tolsona Oil and Fuel Exploration LLC in late Might for the corporate’s extended failures to put in strain gauges on its pure fuel exploration properly, monitor the nicely casing strain and to even reply to repeated calls for by the fee to take action. The wonderful was lowered to $ninety two,000 within the ultimate order.

The wholly owned Ahtna subsidiary spudded the Tolsona-1 properly close to Glennallen in September 2016, however technical challenges with the 5,500-foot nicely led the drilling to take about fifty four days, based on Ahtna, about twice so long as anticipated.

By mid-December, the corporate was getting ready to droop the nicely when strain started to construct between inside nicely casings. Tolsona notified the AOGCC of the difficulty and bled the strain, and the fee required the corporate to watch the strain for 4 weeks, based on the order.

In January, the fee additional required Tolsona to put in a strain gauge on an outer nicely casing and equally report month-to-month strain readings. The corporate stated in February it might meet the requirement.

Nevertheless, Tolsona officers didn’t comply with by way of with the strain studies or return subsequent emails and telephone calls from the fee. That led the AOGCC to concern a proposed enforcement motion in mid-April, to which the corporate once more did not reply.

In consequence, the AOGCC issued the $380,000 proposed penalty Might 24.

The Alaska Oil and Fuel Conservation Fee is a technical state regulatory physique chargeable for oversight of subsurface oil and fuel exercise.

Ahtna didn’t dispute the fee’s timeline of occasions throughout a Sept. 12 listening to on the matter. Tom Maloney, CEO of Ahtna and Tolsona, stated on the time that the corporate supervisor answerable for the venture by no means relayed points to him, although the 2 communicated day by day.

Based on the paperwork, Maloney referred to as the fee Might 25 and stated the corporate had not acquired the enforcement discover and the fee despatched copies to him.

Tolsona put in the outer strain gauge June 1.

Maloney apologized to the three-member fee on the Sept. 12 listening to for the corporate’s errors and stated an inner investigation revealed issues in…

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