bp has been fined for a breach of regulations that were introduced to help keep track of drilling activity in the area.

The regulator imposed the £50,000 sanction on the oil and gas giant for breaching a licence condition by failing to report the progress and results of two well tests.

The tests were run on the Vorlich field east of Aberdeen as bp prepared to bring it into production.

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bp was required to submit daily reports to the Oil and Gas Authority including information on how much it had produced through the extended well tests (EWTs) concerned with details of any flaring completed.

The reports are designed to help the OGA ensure that firms stick to agreed plans and do not use flaring more than is considered necessary. Flaring is used to burn off excess gas.

Regarding the matter covered by the fine, the regulator said bp’s own investigation found that internal communications had broken down, there was no guidance in place for managing OGA consents and there was a lack of awareness among engineers of consent requirements.

The OGA noted that the lack of information could have exposed bp to a potential flare breach. However, there was no flare breach

The fine is the first of its kind imposed by the OGA, which said that investigations into other firms are underway.

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In October the OGA said there remained room for improvement around managing production, flare and vent consents generally in the North Sea.

It warned then that some firms could face sanctions if their standards didn’t improve.

While the fine imposed on bp is small in monetary terms it is a blemish on the group’s record.

The group has bid for windfarm acreage off Scotland in the ScotWind licensing round, which attracted strong interest from oil and gas majors.

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The company is investing heavily in renewables under chief executive Bernard Looney’s plan for it to become a net zero business in terms of emissions by 2050.

A spokesperson for the company said: “bp’s performance as operator on this occasion fell short of our usual high standards. We fully accept the outcome of the OGA investigation, which reflects the findings of our own, and have already put in place corrective measures.

“As recognised by the OGA, our failure to meet the reporting requirements was inadvertent and there was no unauthorised flaring. “

BP runs its North Sea business from Aberdeen. It said last week that it plans to develop a global offshore wind centre of excellence in the granite city.