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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Total Fined Over Safety Violations

French oil major Total has received a fine of 30,000 rubles ($1,150) for ignoring safety violations at its Kharyaga project. Environmental regulators are seeking to revoke its license in a separate audit.

Total's Russian unit failed to plan how to use petroleum gas pumped from the oil field, gain permits to work with explosive substances or provide proof of two managers' qualifications, the industrial safety agency said in a statement Thursday. The fine was the maximum possible.

The managers must be suspended until they prove they are sufficiently qualified to work at "dangerous" sites, the agency said.

Environmental regulators from the Natural Resources Ministry called on the government to revoke Total's license to Kharyaga for producing less than one-third of the oil required under its license and burning off, or flaring, most of its petroleum gas. The regulators finished their inspection Wednesday, said Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of the service.

Total received preliminary results last week, spokesman Paul Floren said Thursday. He was not immediately able to comment on the final audit.

Kharyaga is Total's only major project in Russia. Rosneft denied Total a stake in the Vankor field last year and Novatek, the country's second-largest natural gas producer, decided against selling shares to the oil major in 2005. Total is in talks to join Gazprom's Shtokman gas project in the Arctic.