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Energy Act 2008

New section 10H: Enforcement

411.This section makes it an offence for an owner to fail to comply with a “pipe-line modification notice” issued under new section 10G. A person found guilty of such an offence is, as set out in new subsection (2), liable to:

  • on summary conviction, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (currently £5,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and £10,000 in Scotland), or;

  • on conviction on indictment, to an unlimited fine.

412.Subsection (3) provides a person in proceedings for prosecution of the offence with a defence, if the person can prove he exercised due diligence in trying to comply with the pipe-line modification notice.

413.Subsection (4) states that proceedings can be instigated only by the Secretary of State (or a person authorised by the Secretary of State) or by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions

414.Subsections (5) to (7) provide that if it can be proved that an offence committed by a body corporate was attributable to any actions of or failure to act by, or was done with the consent or involvement of any director, manager, secretary, member, or other similar officer of the body corporate (or any person who was purporting to act as one) that person (as well as the body corporate) will be liable for the offence and can be prosecuted accordingly.

415.In addition to inserting the two new sections 10G and 10H into the Pipe-lines Act 1962, section 79 also inserts a new subsection (5) into the current section 10F (supplemental provision relating to third party access). This requires the Secretary of State, before issuing a pipe-line modification notice:

  • to give the person who applied for the notice details of the modifications the Secretary of State is proposing, and

  • to give the person an opportunity to make an application for third party access to upstream petroleum pipelines (covered by section 10E of that Act) if they have not already agreed these terms.

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