UPDATE 1-W&T says regulatory notices may affect Gulf of Mexico ops
Nov 27 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas producer W&T Offshore Inc said it had recently received notices from U.S. government regulators related to environmental issues that could affect some of its operations on federal oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
W&T said it received a notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Suspension and Debarment Division on Nov. 19, suspending the company, and proposing a three-year debarment, from participating in future federal contracts.
Another notice from the regulators provides a narrower prohibition on federal contracts. The notices relate to the company's previously disclosed plea agreement and conviction on two criminal counts in 2009.
W&T was charged with one felony count of tampering with, or inaccurately rendering, a monitoring method required to be maintained under the Clean Water Act, and another count for the negligent discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. ()
The company said on Wednesday that it also received a letter from the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management notifying that it no longer qualified for a waiver of some supplemental bonding requirements for potential offshore decommissioning.
Supplemental bonding ensures that lessees are capable of meeting their financial obligations and complying with laws associated with the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas facilities in federal waters.
" ... these regulatory actions are undeserved and do not reflect the degree of financial and operational responsibility and current record of compliance that the company has demonstrated in its Gulf of Mexico operations," W&T said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company said it was taking necessary actions to quickly resolve these matters.