• 59 tonnes of gas vented by operator without consent

  • Oil and gas producers are required to meet venting obligations

Perenco UK Limited (Perenco) has been fined £225,000, the highest ever financial penalty handed out by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), for venting 59 tonnes of gas for over a month from its Dimlington onshore gas processing plant without consent.

The company had permission to vent 235 tonnes from 1 January - 31 December 2022, but exceeded that limit on 6 November and vented the extra gas until a new consent was issued on 14 December 2022.

The company produces natural gas from fields in the Southern North Sea and operates terminals in Dimlington, East Yorkshire, and Bacton in East Anglia.

Perenco stated that it had systems to track the daily volumes of gas it emitted. However, there was an absence of internal mechanisms to ensure that any risks identified through this system were appropriately actioned.

The central objective of the financial penalty in this case is deterrence, with the penalty being set at a sufficient level to reflect this and the seriousness of the breach, as well as Perenco’s delayed engagement with the NSTA in the lead-up to identifying that a breach had occurred.

The NSTA aims to eliminate unnecessary or wasteful flaring and venting of gas. The OGA Strategy includes a requirement for industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as flaring and venting to assist the drive to net zero.

To support that, the NSTA monitors performance and works with industry to reduce emissions. In September 2023, we reported that North Sea emissions had been cut for three years in a row, and there had been a 23% drop in total emissions since 2018.

The OGA Plan places further emphasis on emissions reduction requiring industry to adopt a range of decarbonisation measures including taking actions to support zero routine flaring and venting by 2030.

Jane de Lozey, NSTA Director of Regulation, said:

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining UK energy supply, is essential, and we acknowledge industry’s response to both of those challenges.

“Operating within consent and prompt engagement with the NSTA helps maintain confidence in the sector. However, as today’s fine demonstrates, we will take firm action for any failures to meet regulatory obligations.

Notes to editors:

Sanction Notice

NSTA Disputes and Sanctions

NSTA Flaring and Venting

NSTA 2023 Emissions Monitoring Report

OGA Plan

NEO fined £100,000 for breaching vent consent

Repsol fined £160,000 for flaring and venting breach

Operators fined total of £265,000 as NSTA moves to enforce net zero and security of supply requirements

NSTA fines Shell £50,000 for breaching production consents

OGA fines bp £50,000 for licence breach


For further information please contact: 

Tel: 07785 655620 

Email: pressoffice@nstauthority.co.uk