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Oil and gas company fined £100k for breaching vent consent

NEO Energy Production UK Limited (NEO) has been hit with a £100,000 fine after failing to comply with its vent consent for the Donan, Lochranza and Balloch fields, situated approximately 200 kilometres northeast of Aberdeen.

The breach occurred when NEO exceeded its venting consent limit, leading to a violation of approximately 1,200 tonnes above the maximum annual allowance.

An investigation conducted by the North Sea Transition Authority revealed that NEO erroneously allocated cold flare volumes to its flare consent at the beginning of 2022, a mistake that went undetected until October of the same year.

Despite NEO’s cooperation with the investigation and its prompt application for revised consent, the NSTA criticised the company for a lack of oversight and internal mechanisms to detect such breaches.

The NSTA, in response to the incident, has issued guidance urging the industry to eliminate unnecessary flaring and venting to support efforts towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Jane de Lozey, NSTA Director of Regulation, said: “Producers perform a vital job in supporting UK security of supply, but they must do so within the consents they are given.

“We welcome the industry’s sustained efforts in ensuring that emissions are falling year on year, noting that flaring and venting have been reduced by almost half since 2018.

“However, we take the cases where regulatory obligations are not met very seriously and do not hesitate to take firm action, as this fine demonstrates.”

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