UK willing to develop North Sea Rhum gas field shared with Iran

Iranian gas refinery

TEHRAN (FNA)- The UK voiced willingness to support resumption of gas production from Rhum gas field after Iran decided to develop the field.

British government had in 2010 stopped gas production in Rhum field, which is co-owned by British Petroleum and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), due to sanctions imposed on Iran, announcing that Iran’s share out of the gas sales was blocked in an account, press tv reported.

London recently announced its consent with resumption of production from the field.

Production at the Rhum field was halted back in 2010 as part of unilateral illegal sanctions imposed on Iran by the EU and the US over the country’s nuclear energy program.

The British Energy Ministry in a statement announced that the Rhum field was allowed to resume production to avoid potential environmental damage and to avoid the possible destruction of the value of the field.

“The government supports restarting production at Rhum, which is necessary to avoid potential environmental damage and to prevent possible destruction of the value of the field, said the statement.

In mid-September, Britain called on the US and the European Union (EU) to partially ease the anti-Iranian embargo imposed on a joint UK-Iran natural gas field in the North Sea.

The US daily, Wall Street Journal, reported that the British administration is negotiating with the US and European Union for an exemption from sanctions imposed on Iran, so that it would be able to continue its cooperation with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) at the North Sea’s oil field.

The American daily pointed out that these talks are underway while Britain is grappling with shortage of natural gas.

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) consulted the US and EU officials over releasing sanctions on Iran’s state oil company.

“We are working with the EU to ensure the long-term security of the Rhum North Sea gas field and will be making an announcement on this in due course,” said the office for the DECC.

The US State Department also said they have discussed the issue with the British government, without releasing any further details.

The British oil giant has halted production of natural gas from this field following the imposition of sanctions against Iran.

The NIOC has a 50-percent stake with the UK’s BP in the offshore field, called Rhum, that can output a daily 5.4 million cubic meter capacity, which had its operation halted in 2010 due the US-brokered and EU-backed sanctions imposed on Iran.

The EU spokesperson spoke of the plausibility of the act, saying, “The BP gas field could be exempted from sanctions under an EU Council Regulation adopted in December 2012 amending previous regulation on restrictive measures against Iran.”

Recently, the European Union has passed new laws which allow exemptions to a number of projects from anti-Iran sanctions, under a number of conditions.

On November 24, Iran and the six major world powers sealed the six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.

By Fars News Agency 


The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.