NSTA opens investigation into suspected licence breach
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14 November 2022
The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has opened an investigation into an operator suspected of breaching one of its licence conditions.
The investigation will look into whether the licensee conducted a well test – intended to gauge whether or not the reservoir can produce oil or gas – without consent and failed to provide timely notification of the completion of the test.
Oil and gas licences are awarded with conditions attached requiring the licensee to undertake certain actions within agreed timescales and also to provide information and request consent for actions in a timely manner.
To assist companies in meeting licence and regulatory requirements, the NSTA has produced a wide range of guidance and provides ongoing stewardship support.
The NSTA is committed to supporting the UK’s drive for energy security along with net zero and expects companies awarded valuable North Sea licences to comply with their licence obligations which ensure that all companies are operating within the same regulations.
Dependent upon the results of the investigation, a fine of up to £1million could be levied if the company is found to have failed to meet its obligations.
Jane de Lozey, NSTA Interim Director of Regulation, said: "The NSTA is focused on supporting actions which will bolster the UK’s energy security. We will not allow this vital work to be put at risk by licensees failing to uphold their regulatory obligations, to the detriment of industry’s social licence to operate and ability to attract investment.”