Iran said on Monday that Britain has pledged to help provide Iran with revenues made from sales of natural gas from the Rhum gas field in the North Sea which the country jointly shares with British Petroleum (BP).
Amir-Hossein Zamaniniya, Iran’s deputy oil minister for international affairs, has been quoted by the media as saying that the issue had been raised during his Monday meeting with Lord Norman Lamont, UK
’s trade envoy to Iran and chairman of the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce.
Zamaniniya said Lord Lamont has also met officials from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to discuss the same issue. He said the meeting had ended in an agreement to resolve banking problems that are obstructing trade between the two countries through certain arrangements by both sides.
Iran’s deputy oil minister further emphasized that Lord Lamont – the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer – had told him that the British energy companies including Shell and BP have voiced interest in investing in Iran’s oil and gas projects.
BP and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) jointly share the Rhum gas field with an equal share distribution of 50 percent.
Operations were suspended at the field in November 2010 after the EU introduced sanctions against Iran.
Accordingly, Iran’s shares of the revenues from the field are currently frozen in an account in London under the sanctions regime.
According to the estimates provided by BP, the Rhum field contains 800 billion cubic feet of gas and accounts for about 4% of the UK’s annual gas production.