BP has been fined £7,000 after admitting an unpermitted discharge of crude oil in the North Sea.

About 95 tonnes of oil was released into the sea 75 miles west of Shetland on October 2 2016.

An investigation by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found a process failure resulted in the "significant amount" of oil leaking.

The company had intended to start production from a newly drilled well on the Clair Phase 1 offshore installation.

As it was not a routine operation, a specific written procedure was prepared by BP which was to be followed.

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Regular water sampling should have been in place with results fed back to the control room, the investigation found, and written procedure was not specific on when results should be provided or when control should request late results.

As a result the crude oil was discharged into the North Sea.

On Tuesday at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, BP Exploration Operating Company Limited pleaded guilty to a contravention of Regulation 3(1) of the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005.

Alistair Duncan, head of the Crown Office health and safety investigation unit, said: "BP accepted liability and the Crown accepted their guilty plea to the contravention of the regulations.

"The lack of sufficiently robust procedures could have had a significant environmental impact, had these issues not been addressed.

"Thankfully there was no significant impact to the environment as a result of this incident and the company has introduced improved procedures since then.

"Hopefully this prosecution will serve as a reminder that failing to have sufficiently robust procedures and adhere to the regulations can have potentially serious consequences."

A BP spokesman said: "Safety is BP's core value and our operations are grounded in the principles of no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment.

"On this occasion in 2016, we regrettably fell short of these high standards."

He added: "While there was no injury to people or significant impact on the environment, this incident should not have happened.

"In the period immediately after this incident, we carried out a thorough investigation and applied lessons learned.

"We remain as committed as ever to maintaining safe and reliable operations across our business."

Building supplies group Travis Perkins has said that sales dived 20% in the first half of 2020 as it was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company reported that revenue slumped to £2.78 billion for the six months to June due to the "significant impact" of the virus and resulting lockdown.

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Travis Perkins said group like-for-like sales were 34.8% lower in the second quarter, although sales improved towards the end of the period.

Like-for-like sales slipped 6.7% in June - compared with slumps of 63.6% and 34.6% in April and May respectively - as its Toolstation and retail divisions returned to growth.

Its builders' merchants arm remains the most impacted by the virus, but operations "have continued to recover well" in recent weeks, it said.

Meanwhile, its Toolstation and Wickes brands have benefited from "strong DIY sales" amid surging demand for home improvements during lockdown.

Last month, Travis Perkins announced plans to permanently close 165 of its branches with the loss of around 2,500 jobs.

Chief executive Nick Roberts said: "Since the trading update on June 15, the business has continued to recover well, with good demand from infrastructure markets offsetting ongoing challenges in the new-build and commercial construction sectors.

"We remain cautious as to the near-term headwinds facing our business and the wider economy; nevertheless, the decisive actions we have taken to manage our cost base mean that we are well placed to continue to service our customers, support our colleagues and generate value for our shareholders."

Shares in the company moved 1.9% higher to 1,225.5p in early trading on Tuesday.

Moneysupermarket has reported a sharp drop in revenue and profit after the firm took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic in the first six months of the year.

Profit before tax dropped 15% to £51.4 million, the business said, on revenue of £183.2 million, down 8%.

Chief executive Mark Lewis said Covid-19 has "significantly impacted our core markets", but added that the company's business model has "proved resilient, generating good cash flow throughout the crisis and giving us confidence for the future".

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