FX Drilling will pay $100,000 in fines after pleading guilty in court to criminal charges relating to a 2011 oil spill in northwestern Montana.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris levied the fine on Thursday which was recommended in a plea deal between the federal prosecutors and company attorneys.
The company pleaded guilty to negligently discharging oil into Cut Bank Creek and failing to take immediate action to remove or maintain the oil that had already leaked.
According to court documents, the company’s field supervisor Quay Geza Torok discovered an oil pipeline had ruptured in the San Unit oilfield on July 12, 2011 and reported the spill to his supervisor as well as repaired the line. However, Torok and FX Drilling’s failure of immediate action led to a spill that lasted over a month, spilling roughly 840 gallons down a drainage and into a tributary that empties into Cut Bank Creek.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges against Torok.