The government has taken the necessary steps to allow BP to restart production on the Rhum gas field in the North Sea.
Ownership of Rhum is shared equally between BP and the Iranian Oil Company (IOC).
Rhum and its neighbouring fields make an important contribution to the UK’s long-term energy security which is responsible for up to four percent of the UK’s annual gas production.
Gas production from the Rhum field was stopped in 2010 in relation to international sanctions against Iran.
The government supports restarting production at Rhum, which is necessary to avoid potential environmental damage and to prevent the possible destruction of the value of the field.
IOC will receive its share of the revenues from gas sales at Rhum. As IOC is currently designated under EU Iran sanctions, these will be placed in a frozen account.
The government will be working closely with the company’s co-licensee, BP, and BP’s contractors on the field to ensure that production can resume.
Notes for Editors
The Hydrocarbons (Temporary Management Scheme) Regulations 2013 allows the Secretary of State to apply a temporary scheme to the hydrocarbons interests of a listed person which holds a relevant licence where he is satisfied that this is necessary (i) to avoid or remediate environmental damage; or (ii) to prevent permanent destruction of the value of the relevant licence.
The government will co-manage the Rhum field from 22 October 2013.
Temporary administration will continue until the expiry of the licence in March 2018 or if circumstances change.
On 22 October 2013 DECC took temporary management of the Iranian Oil Company’s share of the Rhum North Sea gas field. In accordance with the Hydrocarbons (Temporary Management Scheme) Regulations 2013, DECC has issued a decision notice in relation to the application of a temporary scheme and has made the notice available for inspection.