Wednesday Mar 27, 201307:49 AM GMT
Iran sanctions could force BP to shut down North Sea gas field
A file photo showing an oil rig in the North Sea
A file photo showing an oil rig in the North Sea
The British oil giant, British Petroleum (BP), may be forced to close down the Bruce natural gas field in the UK North Sea ahead of schedule as a result of the sanctions imposed against Iran.


Dow Jones reported on Tuesday that without gas from the adjoining Rhum field, of which the National Iranian Oil Company is a joint owner, BP might have to close down the Bruce field.

The British oil company halted operations at Rhum field in November 2010 after the West imposed illegal sanctions against Iran’s energy sector.

"The long-term future of the Bruce facilities is very closely tied to the ability to produce from Rhum. Given the uncertainties, we are considering what a decommissioning project would entail and how long it would take to execute," a BP spokesman was quoted as saying.

Closing down the Bruce field would undermine the UK government’s attempts to strengthen its energy sector, which has been experiencing inflation due to “cold weather, and unexpected production and pipeline outages.”

Since the UN Security Council’s fourth round of sanctions against Iran in June 2010, the United States and its European allies have also separately imposed unilateral illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s energy sector.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new illegal sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The sanctions came into force in early summer 2012.

The illegal US-engineered sanctions have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

MYA/HMV/HJL
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