BP to clear debts to Iran

News ID: 3609381 -
TEHRAN, Apr. 27 (MNA) – UK's trade envoy to Iran has announced that British Petroleum’s (BP) debt to Iran will be paid off Iran's share in Rhum gas field in coming days.

In 2005, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Britain’s largest oil firm BP launched a 656-million-dollar cooperation producing gas at the offshore gas field of Rhum in Scotland.

BP and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) jointly share the Rhum gas field with an equal share distribution of 50 percent.

After five years of gas extraction from the joint gas field with a daily production of about 190 million cubic meters, operations were suspended at the field in November 2010 after the EU introduced sanctions against Iran.

According to the estimates provided by BP, the Rhum field contains 800 billion cubic feet of gas and accounts for about 5% of the UK’s annual gas production.

Meanwhile, Iran’s shares of the revenues from the field are currently frozen in an account in London under the sanctions regime though the UK resumed gas production in the field around three years ago.

Following his Monday meeting with UK's trade envoy to Iran and chairman of the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce Lord Norman Lamont, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia said “Britain has pledged to help provide Iran with revenues made from sales of natural gas from the Rhum gas field in the North Sea which the country jointly shares with British Petroleum (BP).”

Zamaninia noted that Lord Lamont has also met officials from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to discuss the same issue; “the meeting had ended in an agreement to resolve banking problems that are obstructing trade between the two countries through certain arrangements by both sides.”

Iran’s deputy oil minister further emphasized that Lord Lamont had told him that the British energy companies including Shell and BP have voiced interest in investing in Iran’s oil and gas projects.

The official said there were also talks on cooperation of UK Export Finance (UKEF) with Iran and minimizing risk of investment in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He said the British party had announced that the UKEF is ready for cooperation with Iran and has set aside a budget for insurance coverage.

 

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