Noble Energy

Noble Energy Is A Multinational Oil Conglomerate

Noble Energy Is A Publicly-Traded Oil Company Based In Texas

Noble Energy Is A Houston, Texas-Based Multinational Oil Conglomerate With 1,929 Million Barrels In Proved Oil Reserves. “Noble Energy, Inc., an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids worldwide. The company owns, operates, develops, and acquires domestic midstream infrastructure assets in the DJ and Delaware Basins. Its principal assets are located in the US onshore unconventional basins and various global offshore conventional basins in the Eastern Mediterranean and off the west coast of Africa. As of December 31, 2018, the company had 1,929 million barrels oil equivalent of total proved reserves. Noble Energy, Inc. was founded in 1932 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.” [Yahoo Finance, accessed 09/18/19]

Noble Energy’s Chairman And CEO Is David Stover, A Longtime Oil Executive Who Has Worked At BP, And ARCO Oil And Gas. “David (Dave) Stover brings nearly 40 years of oil and gas industry experience to his current role as chairman and chief executive officer of Noble Energy – a member of the S&P 500 and one of the nation’s leading independent energy companies. He was appointed chairman of the board in April 2015, CEO in October 2014 and elected to the board of directors in April 2014. Prior to his current role, he served as president and chief operating officer, along with other executive positions. Before joining Noble Energy in 2002, Dave served as BP’s vice president and business unit leader for the Gulf of Mexico Shelf from 2000 to 2002. From 1994 to 2000, he held various onshore and offshore management positions at Vastar Resources. Earlier in his career, he held a number of engineering, operations and management positions at ARCO Oil and Gas Company.” [Noble Energy, accessed 09/18/19]

Noble Energy Is A Major Funder Of Anti-Public Lands Front Groups

Noble Energy Funds Coloradans For Responsible Energy Development (CRED) And Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence (PCEEEI), Pro-Fracking Industry Front Groups

Noble Energy And Anadarko Were The Funders Of Coloradans For Responsible Energy, A Campaign To Beat Back Ballot Initiatives That Could Restrict Fracking.  “Noble officials also elaborated on a publicity campaign the company is waging in Colorado in partnership with Anadarko Petroleum Corp., based in The Woodlands. The campaign, called Coloradans for Responsible Energy, is trying to beat back potential ballot proposals in the state that could restrict the well completion process called hydraulic fracturing. Fracturing – injecting fluids and sand into a well under pressure to release oil and gas from tight formations – has contributed to a surge in U.S. production. Opponents say it may contaminate water and cause other environmental damage. ‘I think we’re prepared for a full communication effort,’ Davidson said. ‘It’s going to be a lengthy summer, and we’ll see. There’s a lot of political dynamics that are happening here, and it changes daily.’” [Houston Chronicle, 4/25/14]

PCEEEI Is A Noble Energy-Funded Political Action Committee That Uses Millions Of Dollars Oil Companies To Fight Citizen-Led Initiatives To Regulate Colorado’s Oil Industry. 

PCEEEI Is A Political Action Committee That Fights Regulations On Colorado’s Oil And Gas Industry. Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, And Energy Independence (PCEEEI) is a political committee whose purpose is “to support state and local ballot initiatives that promote a vibrant colorado economy and oppose those measures that seek to harm Colorado’s economy and way of life.” [Colorado Secretary of State, accessed 07/26/19]

PCEEEI, Also Called “Protecting Colorado” For Short, Was Established With Money From Anadarko Petroleum And Noble Energy. “…At least four other Front Range municipalities pushing anti-fracking ballot initiatives in 2013 and Polis arguing for a statewide initiative for further restrictions, top energy producers in the state crafted plans to fight back. [Denver Post07/16/17]

PCEEEI Was Formed To Protect Oil and Gas Industry Profits. “A good example is the oil and gas industry front group Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence (Protect Colorado), which was formed specifically to fight against any citizen initiative that could hinder oil and gas industry profits. Among its activities are pushing industry-spawned initiatives that make it harder for citizens to get measures on the ballot along with other political activity like directing campaign contributions to pro-oil candidates, even at the city council level. CRED’s own director of operations and coalitions, Mark Truax, has referred to Protect Colorado as, ‘kinda the political arm we work with.’ And it’s a very short arm.” [Boulder Weekly06/07/18]

Between 2012 And 2017, PCEEEI Spent $30 Million Fighting What It Calls An “Onslaught” Of Citizen-Led Fracking Regulations In Colorado. “Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy, the top energy producers in the state, lead the way. Their campaign-finance records and political activity reports shows that since 2012, the companies are responsible for two-thirds of the money given to an industry political issue committee known as Protect Colorado, which has spent $30 million since 2013 on ballot initiatives and issues. A public relations front group founded by the two companies in 2013 — Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development — also received more than $30 million in donations in its first three years of existence, according to its tax returns. [Denver Post07/16/17]

PCEEEI Is Closely Affiliated With Citizens For Responsible Energy Development, A Dark Money Astroturf Group For Anadarko And Noble Energy

PCEEEI Is “Organized” By Citizens For Responsible Energy Development, A Nonprofit Which Is Also Funded By Anadarko And Noble Energy.  “The oversized glossy mailers and robocalls came in waves over the course of weeks to residents of this small Front Range city, asking them to protect their children, property and low tax rates by voting against a proposed city moratorium on the oil-and-gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The group behind the campaign calls itself ‘Protect Colorado,’ short for ‘Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence.’ It’s a politics issue committee organized by a public-relations group called Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, or CRED, which is funded by the two most active Front Range oil-and-gas companies, Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy.” [The Colorado Independent07/07/14]

PCEEEI, CRED, And Anadarko Appear To Have A Coordinated Communications Team. “Olson, when contacted on Wednesday, referred a reporter to John Christiansen, vice president of corporate communications for Anadarko. A message left for Christiansen soon triggered a reply from Karen Crummy, spokeswoman for Protect Colorado, the political arm of Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, which received initial funding from Anadarko and Noble Energy.” [Daily Camera08/01/18]

PCEEEI And CRED Shared A Spokesperson In 2017. “‘Scaring people is easy and cheap. Providing factual information on a complex subject is difficult and expensive,’ CRED and Protect Colorado spokeswoman Karen Crummy said in a prepared statement. CRED was created as an ‘education effort to present the public with the science and facts on fracking, she said. Crummy added that ‘Protect Colorado was formed when the energy industry was facing an onslaught of ballot measures and the very deep pockets of one Colorado Congressman who had hundreds of millions of dollars. These measures had the potential to put the industry out of business so we had to fight back.’” [Denver Post07/16/17]

About Half Of PCEEEI’s Nearly $68 Million Has Come From Anadarko Petroleum And Noble Energy

Since It was Established, PCEEEI Has Received A Total Of $67,532,853.73 In Contributions– Nearly all of which is from the Oil and Gas Industry. Its largest contributors by far are Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy, which have given $17,786,736 and $16,326,236 respectively. A list of companies giving PCEEEI over $1 million in a single election cycle in one year includes the following:

  • $6,941,000 From Anadarko In the 2018 cycle
  • $6,712,500 From Anadarko In the 2016 cycle
  • $4,115,236 From Anadarko In the 2014 cycle
  • $6,583,500 From Noble Energy in the 2018 cycle
  • $5,627,500 From Noble Energy in the 2016 cycle
  • $4,115,236 From Noble Energy in the 2014 cycle
  • $3,499,091 From Extraction Oil & Gas in the 2018 cycle
  • $1,047,655 From DCP Midstream in the 2018 cycle
  • $1,037,665 From Hall Energy Service Inc in the 2018 cycle
  • $3,383,900 from PDC Energy in the 2018 cycle
  • $2,235,666 from SRC Energy Inc in the 2018 cycle
  • $1,000,000 from ConocoPhillips in the 2018 cycle
  • $1,400,000 from Chevron in the 2018 cycle
  • $3,076,971 in in-kind contributions from the Colorado Petroleum Council in the 2018 cycle. [Colorado SoS, accessed 07/29/19]

Noble Energy Also Funds Vital For Colorado, A “Coalition Of Leading Business And Civic Organizations” That Formed To Fight What They Call The “Anti Energy Movement”

Vital For Colorado Announced Its Formation In March 2014. On March 5, 2014, Vital For Colorado announced its launch in a press release: “A coalition of the leading business and civic organizations across the state of Colorado, calling itself Vital for Colorado, has formed to advocate for a responsible oil and gas policy, it was announced today. The group’s launch comes amid various attempts by environmental activists to make it easier for local governments to ban energy development.” [Vital For Colorado Press Release, 03/05/14]

Vital For Colorado Formed To Oppose What They Saw As An “Anti Energy Movement” In Colorado. “The Vital group formed last year after several businesses grew concerned with the increasing ‘anti’ energy movement growing in Colorado. Several Denver business leaders were on a trade mission to Houston, where they heard from executives in oil companies.” [Greeley Tribune08/03/14]

Noble Energy Gave $157,988 To Vital In 2016. Noble Energy also gave big to Vital for Colorado in 2016, contributing $157,988, according to the company’s filings on its website.” [Greely Tribune11/04/17]

Noble Energy Gave Nearly $358,000 To Vital For Colorado From 2016 Through 2018. Noble Energy gave nearly $358,000 to Vital from 2016 through 2018, based on past political activity reports.” [Colorado Sun04/25/19]

Noble Gave $160,000 To Vital In 2016.  “Noble Energy gave $5.6 million to the PCEEEI and $160,000 to Vital for Colorado in 2016.” [Westword05/01/19]

Noble Energy Has A Bad Environmental Record 

Since 2000, Noble Energy Has Had To Pay Over $79 Million In Penalties For Environmental And Safety Violations 

Noble Energy Has Paid $79,375,270 In Federal Penalties Since 2000. Noble Energy and its subsidiaries have paid nearly $80 million in violations the EPA, OSHA, BSEE, PHMSA, and FERC. The majority of this is from 25 environmental violations totalling $74,937,608. [Violation Tracker, accessed 10/05/19]

Noble Energy Had To Pay $73 Million When It Violated The Clean Air Act By Leaking Noxious Gasses In Colorado’s Air. “Noble Energy announced a settlement Wednesday with sate and federal regulators to resolve outstanding allegations of Clean Air Act violations in Northern Colorado’s DJ Basin. The Houston-based oil and gas operator agreed to spend $73.45 million on system upgrades, projects aimed at reducing air pollution in Colorado and a civil penalty. Noble Energy reached the settlement with The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and State of Colorado. The settlement resolves claims that Noble Energy failed to adequately design, size, operate and maintain vapor control systems on its controlled condensate storage tanks. That failure resulted in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in Colorado’s DJ Basin. [The Coloradoan04/22/15]

  • As Part Of The Settlement, Noble Energy Was Forced To Pay A $4.95 Million Civil Penalty. “Noble will pay a $4.95 million civil penalty divided as follows: $3.475 million to the United States; and $1.475 million to Colorado. […] The settlement resolves past violations of Colorado’s Regulation 7, Section XII requirements for controlling VOC emissions from oil and gas operations. The 2008 version of the Section XII requirements is part of Colorado’s federally-approved State Implementation Plan. Federally-approved State Implementation Plan requirements are federally enforceable under the Clean Air Act. Specifically, the settlement resolves alleged past violations of Regulation 7, Section XII requirements relating to installation, operation, maintenance, design, and sizing of vapor control systems at condensate storage tanks. The settlement also resolves past liability for (i) system-wide emissions reduction requirements under Section XII and (ii) failures to mark identification numbers on storage tanks and combustors.” [US Environmental Protection Agency, 04/22/15]
  • In Addition To The Civil Penalty, Noble Had To Pay For $60 Million In Upgrades, $4.5 Million For Environmental Mitigation, And $4 Million On Supplemental Environmental Projects. “As part of the settlement, Noble will spend an estimated $60 million on system upgrades, monitoring and inspections to reduce emissions, in addition to $4.5 million to fund environmental mitigation projects, $4 million on supplemental environmental projects, and a $4.95 million civil penalty. The case arose from a joint EPA and Colorado investigation that found significant VOC emissions coming from storage tanks, primarily due to undersized vapor control systems. Noble has agreed to evaluate vapor control system designs, significantly reduce VOC emissions, and provide reports to the public. These reports will give other companies the opportunity to learn and apply this information to emissions estimates and vapor control system designs. Using advanced monitoring technologies, Noble will be better able to detect air pollution problems in real time and ensure proper operation and maintenance of pollution control equipment.” [US Environmental Protection Agency, 04/22/15]

After It Was Caught Leaking Poisonous Gas From 78 Wells In Colorado, State Regulators Ordered Noble Energy To Pay $50,000 To Create A “Hydrogen Sulfide Awareness Program.” “In 2011, toxic hydrogen sulfide gas was found in 78 oil wells surrounding the northern Weld County town of Grover. The company operating the wells, Noble Energy, waited nearly eight months to make a required report about the hydrogen sulfide to the state. Just a few breaths of hydrogen sulfide in high concentrations can be fatal, but in lower concentrations, the gas can cause vomiting, dizziness and eye damage. Instead of being fined, Noble, which did not respond to requests for comment, was rewarded for cooperating with the commission, which required the company to create a $50,000 hydrogen sulfide awareness program.” [Associated Press, 04/08/13]

Noble Energy Is Responsible For Over A Thousand Oil Spills In Colorado

Since January 1, 2000, Noble Energy Has Reported 1,003 Oil Spills In Colorado. [Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, accessed 10/15/19]

A 2015 Study Found That Noble Energy Had More Oil Spills Than Any Other Company Between 2009 and 2013. “Noble Energy caused 358 spills in Colorado between 2009 and 2013—more than any other operator. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issued only 19 NOAVS to Noble Energy from 2009 to 2013. However, the Commission’s database includes records for 358 spills by Noble Energy in the same time period. Of those 358 incidents, 89 impacted groundwater and 11 impacted surface water. Only 78 incident reports detailed the surface area of the spills, making it difficult to determine relative severity.” [NRDC Issue Paper, April 2015]

Noble Energy Gives Millions To Fund Astroturf Campaigns

Noble Energy Funnelled Over $7 Million Into An Astroturf Group To Oppose An Initiated Measure That Would Regulate Fracking On Public Lands In Colorado. “In a last-ditch attempt to defeat one of the most far-reaching environmental measures on the 2018 ballot, a fossil-fuel giant is blanketing Colorado television with election-focused political ads that it now claims are outside the purview of all state campaign-finance laws. The maneuver — which pioneers a novel way for corporations to circumvent disclosure statutes and inject money directly into elections — has been blessed by the office of Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who has led a Republican political group bankrolled by the same fossil-fuel corporation that is airing the ads. At issue is Proposition 112, a landmark measure that would force fossil-fuel companies to set their drilling and fracking operations further away from hospitals, schools, child-care centers and residential neighborhoods. Natural gas colossus Noble Energy and its subsidiaries have been among the most prominent opponents of the initiative, disclosing $7.1 million in contributions to Protect Colorado, the issue committee opposing the initiative.” [Westword10/18/18]

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