OIL giant BP has been given a five-figure fine by a government watchdog for breaching licence conditions in Scottish waters.

The corporation's Vorlich field lies 240km off the coast of Aberdeen and is thought to contain 30 million barrels of oil equivalent.

But the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) says BP failed to report the progress and results of two extended well tests there and has issued a penalty.

Jane de Lozey, OGA acting director of regulation, said BP "has fallen short of our expectations".

The multinational has been contacted for comment.

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

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

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 do so, BP unintentionally created an "unregulated environment in which the OGA was unsighted of BP's actions".

It's now been fined £50,000.

De Lozey commented: "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."