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BP fined £50,000 over licence breach

By PA News

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BP has been fined £50,000 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

BP has been fined £50,000 by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) for breaching a licence condition in the North Sea.

The OGA said that BP failed to report the progress and results of two extended well tests in the Vorlich field, and has also served it with a sanction notice.

Having previously consented to the drilling of two development wells, the OGA granted further consent for BP to conduct extended well tests (EWT) on two wells in August 2019.

Those consents included the need for the licensee to provide regular reports during EWT operations (the reporting requirements) and BP was also required to submit a full report of the results and conclusions within 90 days of completion of the EWT operations.

The OGA said that in November 2020, following an inquiry by the authority, BP admitted that it had failed to report as required.

The authority said that by failing to comply with the reporting requirements, BP unintentionally created an “unregulated environment in which the OGA was unsighted of BP’s actions”.

Jane de Lozey, OGA acting director of regulation, said: “We are committed to maintaining a strong regulatory regime to uphold standards and ensure a level playing field for licensees and operators in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

“On this occasion BP has fallen short of our expectations but, since becoming aware of the breach, BP has engaged positively with the OGA to investigate the cause of the failure and reaffirmed its commitment to compliance with its regulatory obligations in future.

“We will continue to work with industry to improve compliance, and we are currently considering other matters within the UKCS that may result in further regulatory action.”

BP has been asked for comment.

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