UK pushing to ease sanctions on BP gas field in North Sea
24 September 2013
Britain could be close to agreeing a deal to ease sanctions that have stopped gas production from the North Sea's Rhum field, jointly owned by BP and the National Iranian Oil Co., the Mail on Sunday newspaper said. Production from the field, which once supplied 5% of Britain's gas output, has been suspended since 2010 as a result of international sanctions against Iran.
But with signs of a thaw in relations between Iran and the West, the government now hopes to win agreement from the European Union and the United States for a sanctions waiver in the near future, the newspaper said, citing people close to the talks.
One stumbling block to a deal, however, could be concerns from companies involved in financing and servicing the field that any exemption for the producers would not fully protect them from legal action, it added.
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "We are working to ensure the long-term security of the Rhum gas field but no decision has been made at this time on a solution."
A spokesman for BP declined to comment on the possibility of a waiver being granted.
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