UK Readying Tehran's Blocked Money From Joint Field

UK Readying Tehran's Blocked Money From Joint FieldUK Readying Tehran's Blocked Money From Joint Field

Deputy Oil Minister Amir-Hossein Zamaninia said Britain is ready to pay Iran's blocked revenues from gas sales at the Rhum gas field in the North Sea after the lifting of sanctions.

In a meeting with UK charge d'affaires to Iran, Ajay Sharma, in the capital Tehran, the two officials discussed the possibility of raising production from and expanding exploration and development of joint oil and gas fields, with Tehran's blocked revenues from the gas field being the cornerstone of the Saturday meeting, Shana reported.

However, Zamaninia did not mention the amount of revenues or how the UK government plans to pay this debt.

Iran’s revenues from the field are frozen in an account in London under the sanctions regime.

Zamaninia also said a British trade delegation is scheduled to arrive in Tehran on October 2 to explore areas of cooperation.

Rhum gas field in the North Sea is shared equally between BP and the Iranian Oil Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company. But gas production from the field was stopped in 2010 in relation to international sanctions against Iran.

Foreign companies should establish "meaningful cooperation" with the Iranian private sector if they seek investment opportunities in the Persian Gulf country, the deputy oil minister said on the sidelines of the meeting.

The field started pumping gas in December 2005 and cost $565 million to build. The British government had reportedly negotiated 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 NIOC at Rhum.