BP (LON: BP) has withdrawn an appeal to an HSE notice over a six-tonne gas leak in the North Sea.
The incident at the Mungo field, 142 miles off Aberdeen, last year saw the “uncontrolled” release, which a union boss underlined could have seen an explosion had it found an ignition source.
Improvement notices were served to field operator BP and services firm Valaris, which owns the Valaris Norway jack-up rig which was involved.
BP made an appeal to the enforcement action, which has since been withdrawn following discussions with inspectors.
The notice was recently affirmed at a tribunal.
Valaris did not make an appeal.
An HSE spokesperson said: “We take any hydrocarbon release very seriously and, as a result of the failings we identified, enforcement action was necessary.”
BP self-reported the release, which took place in August, with the notice following in November.
On its reason for the appeal, BP said that it had, by November, already taken the remedial steps required, and therefore the notice was not needed.
A spokesperson for the energy firm said: “BP reported this matter to the Health and Safety Executive when it happened in August 2022 and conducted a thorough investigation to identify and implement steps to prevent a recurrence.
“In November 2022, an improvement notice was served. An appeal was lodged on the basis that robust and appropriate remedial action had already been identified and taken between August and November, and therefore the notice was not needed.
“The matter was resolved through continued engagement with the HSE and ultimately by the HSE agreeing that the steps implemented by BP were sufficient and that BP had complied with the requirements of the notice.
“With safety our priority, we will always seek to identify opportunities for improvement in the practices and procedures that support our operations and lessons learned from this incident have already been adopted.”
Valaris said in December it was taking steps to address the matters within the notice.
HSE records, compiled by trade body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), showed this incident was the largest gas leak in the UK North Sea in over two years.
The last incident on such a scale happened in May 2020, when around 55 tonnes of gas was discharged from Apache’s Beryl Alpha platform.
Mungo, where the gas release took place, is a tie-back field to the BP ETAP production hub.