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Iranian officials are saying that BP Plc will open an office in Iran this summer, though BP has not independently confirmed this.
The announcement was made on state-run news agencies by Rokneddin Javadi, chairman of the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
According to Javadi, the office will be a first step in BP’s plans to transfer technology and capital to Iran.
This statement follows news last week that BP would help Iran recover revenues from their shared Rhum offshore gas field, which the two launched in 2005 and jointly operated with 50/50 interests until operations were suspended in light of EU sanctions in November 2010.
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The daily production during this five years of operations had reach around 190 million cubic meters.
The field is believed to contain an estimated 800 billion cubic feet of gas.
Iran has not been able to recoup its share of the revenues from this field, which were frozen in a London account under the sanctions regime. Three years ago, BP resumed production in the field.
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Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia has now said 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).”
BP is not the only company making clear overtures to Iran in the post-sanctions environment. Austria’s OMV signed a memorandum of understanding with the NIOC earlier this week, along with French Total SA.
The OMV agreement relates to the evaluation of field potential in western Iran, in the Zagros region, where the Austrian company has had a presence since 2001.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com