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US Gives BP License to Run NIOC-Owned Gas Field
US Gives BP License to Run NIOC-Owned Gas Field

US Gives BP License to Run NIOC-Owned Gas Field

There had been uncertainty around the possible impact on Rhum's operational status due to it being part owned by NIOC
BP confirmed it still required "regulatory consent" to enable continued production after November 4

US Gives BP License to Run NIOC-Owned Gas Field

BP and Serica Energy received a conditional license from US authorities to continue operating a North Sea gas field partly owned by a subsidiary of Iran's state-owned National Iranian Oil Company, Serica said in a statement. 

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control extended a license for US and US-owned or controlled entities to provide goods, services and support the Rhum field, which supplies around 5% of Britain’s gas demand, Reuters reported. 

The extension will allow Serica to complete the acquisition of BP’s stake in Rhum as well as the Bruce and Keith fields, as well as buying Total’s stakes in Bruce and Keith, it said. 

There had been uncertainty around the possible impact on Rhum's operational status due to it being part owned by NIOC.

Last week, BP had said Rhum could continue to produce gas without a license from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, even if it failed to win a renewal of the permit before it expired at the end of September.

But that would only have covered the period between the end of September and November 4 when the main US sanctions against Tehran -- that had been suspended as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action deal -- are re-imposed.

In the event, the OFAC issued BP with an interim license until November 4, with BP conceding that it would now need a further exemption once the new regime of US sanctions against Iran take effect.

In a REMIT statement posted to its website late Wednesday, BP had warned of the "potential shut-in" of Rhum if no OFAC license was issued after November 4. It gave an end-date for the item of 2099 -- effectively suggesting an indefinite closure if it does not secure US approval.

In an emailed statement to S&P Global Platts, BP confirmed it still required "regulatory consent" to enable continued production after November 4.

 

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