* Govt probe finds no evidence of unsafe conditions
* Allegations about platform mostly unfounded-govt
(Adds comment from BP, paragraphs 9-10)
By Ayesha Rascoe
WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - A U.S. government probe of BP Plc’s (BP.L) Atlantis production platform in the Gulf of Mexico found no evidence of significant safety breaches, the Interior Department said on Friday.
A former BP contractor, Kenneth Abbott, filed a lawsuit in 2009 charging that the Atlantis oil and natural gas platform lacked key final engineering documents.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said that, while its investigation of the allegations did uncover problems with the way BP organized and stored its engineering documents, there was no proof that these deficiencies “created specific unsafe conditions” on the platform.
“We found the most serious allegations to be without merit, including the suggestion that a lack of adequate documentation created a serious safety risk,” Michael Bromwich, the department’s offshore drilling head, said in a statement. “We found no credible evidence to support that claim.”
Located in the Gulf of Mexico, BP’s Atlantis platform can produce up to 200,000 barrels per day of crude, around 13 percent of total U.S. Gulf output, and up to 180 million cubic feet of natural gas daily.
The department said allegations that BP made false submissions to the government were also “unfounded.”
Still, the department said it did find during the probe that BP failed to file certain required drawings depicting changes to safety systems.
BP corrected the infraction shortly after a non-compliance notice was issued, so the company will not face civil penalties, the department said.
BP said it looks forward to reviewing the department’s investigation report.
“Throughout this process, BP contributed its full cooperation with the agency investigation, maintaining our belief that Atlantis is, and at all times has been, safe and fit for service,” the company said in a statement. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Walter Bagley)