BP Delays Work on Gas Field over New US Sanctions

BP has announced it is deferring new work on a gas field it co-owns with a subsidiary of Iran’s government-owned oil company because of impending US sanctions on Tehran after Washington pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The oil and gas company said its ongoing work at the Rhum gas field northeast of the Scottish city of Aberdeen in the North Sea will continue. But a new well was to be drilled that the company is now postponing work on until the effect of new US sanctions becomes clear.

“BP has decided to defer some planned work on the Rhum gas field in the North Sea while we seek clarity on the potential impact on the field of recent US government decisions regarding Iran; Rhum is co-owned by an Iranian company,” a company spokesperson told The National in a statement late on Tuesday.

“BP always complies with applicable sanctions”.

BP is currently in the middle of a sale of its stake in the field to Serica Energy, which it agreed 50 percent.

“Both companies remain committed to completion of the transaction. BP and Serica are now in discussion with the UK and US authorities to better understand the situation and steps that may be required to ensure continued operation of Rhum,” the statement continued.

In a speech from the White House on May 8, US President Donald Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and seeking nukes before announcing the US withdrawal from the 2015 agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran and the other parties to the JCPOA, namely Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, have launched talks to keep the deal in a way that Tehran’s benefits are secured.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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