BP says got US license to operate Rhum field

Press TV – UK’s energy giant BP says it has received an authorization from the United States to go ahead with operating a gas field that it jointly owns in the North Sea with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). 

BP announced in a statement that it had obtained the authorization for the operation of Rhum gas field from the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department last September.

This, it added in its 2016 annual report, came as a result of the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic in early 2016, Reuters reported.

Discovered in 1977, the Rhum gas field contains 22.6 billion cubic meter of gas. Production from the field started in 2005 but was stopped in 2010 after the intensification of sanctions against Iran.

BP resumed production from Rhum in 2014 after Britain agreed to set up a temporary management scheme whereby all revenue due to Tehran would be held until sanctions were lifted.

The field’s current production is not clear, but is believed to be capable to produce around 8.5 million cubic meters per day at its peak – roughly 4 percent of Britain’s annual gas production.

BP has multiple business operations in the US and therefore needs an OFAC license to avoid potential breaches of existing US sanctions, Reuters added.

BP emphasized in its 2016 annual report that it had obtained a net profit of $31.6 million over the year from its 50 percent stake in Rhum field.

“BP currently intends to continue to hold its ownership stake in the Rhum joint arrangement and act as operator,” Reuters quoted the company as announcing in its annual report.