Vantage Energy fined nearly $1 million for environmental violations

(Reuters) - Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection(DEP) on Monday said it imposed a $999,900 fine on U.S. oil and natural gas company Vantage Energy Inc, one of the largest given to a driller by DEP this year, for several environmental regulations violations.

The company is indicted with charges of violating waste disposal regulations, which has impacted streams, wetlands, soils, surface water and groundwater around the company’s Porter Street shale oil well pad in Franklin Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania, the DEP said in a statement.

On December 16, Vantage and DEP signed a Consent Order and Agreement (COA) that established enforceable milestones for Vantage to correct the violations, which includes the company consenting to pay the fine.

“To its credit, Vantage has begun to make a genuine effort to better manage and operate their well sites,” John Ryder, director of district oil and gas operations for DEP said.

Vantage might be subject to further penalties if its rehabilitation efforts are not completed within the agreed timeline, which is December 31, 2015.

Vantage Energy, focused on the Marcellus shale in the Appalachian Basin and the Barnett shale in Texas, holds about 48,000 net acres within the Marcellus Shale in Greene County, Pennsylvania.

The company, in September, postponed its initial public offering (IPO) of common shares valued at about $637.2 million, citing unfavorable market conditions.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York and Anupam Chatterjee in Bengaluru; editing by Andrew Hay