BP North Sea venture with Iran hit by US ban

The US has imposed sanctions on an Iranian oil company working with BP in the North Sea – listing it as a body that “persons should not do business with”.

Rowena Mason
The Telegraph [UK]
19 June 2010

The move will be seen as further evidence of the fracturing relationship between the British energy giant and the US administration, following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

President Obama has suggested BP’s chief executive should be sacked, made the company create a $20bn (£13.5bn) compensation fund and forced it into suspending the dividend after the April 20 accident.

US officials this week added the Iranian Oil Company UK to its banned list. BP has a 50-50 joint venture with the business that US authorities now allege is “owned or controlled by the Government of Iran”.

The joint venture is at the Rhum field, off the coast of Scotland – a £350m gas field, which has 800bn cubic feet of recoverable reserves. BP confirmed it has a joint venture with Iranian Oil Company UK, but declined to comment further.

American officials refused to say how the sanctions would affect BP. Although the rules apply only to transactions involving “US persons”, the joint venture partnership is likely to further strain diplomatic relations between the US and the embattled British oil company.

The article continues at the Telegraph. H/T Westerly Tea Party

Read also, BP oil spill: A hurricane in the Gulf could be good for BP

“…Strong winds can break up the oil slick into smaller droplets which provides a greater surface area for the oil to be degraded by micro-organisms in the ocean,” said Dr Preston. He cited the example of the Braer, an oil tanker which ran aground
in the Shetland Islands in January 1993 as an example of bad weather assisting in the clean-up of a slick.

“The ship was grounded in a force 11 gale and the rough seas caused the oil to disperse quickly – limiting damage to wildlife such as birds. Most of the oil was gone in a few days…”

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