BP has delayed work on its Rhum field in the North Sea as it seeks clarity over US sanctions on Iran.
The oil giant co-owner of a plot of approximately 240 km north-east of Aberdeen – with the Iranian Oil Company, although BP is the stake is being sold to Serica Energy.
A new well was to be drilled, but BP said that the work is now waiting.
The two companies said they remained committed to the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.
The news came as BP announced plans to cut 3% of its global workforce, or 500 jobs could go in the world.
The company said it was restructuring operations to make it more competitive and to improve the efficiency.
It is not known how many of the 1 500 jobs in the North Sea operation are at risk.
Rum and its active neighbors, Bruce and Keith fields, approximately 5% of the gas produced in the united KINGDOM.
BP is selling its stake in all three.
The two companies said that they were looking for the waiver of all sanctions of the united states and has had the support of the authorities of the united KINGDOM.Analysis by Simon Jack, BBC Business editor
The Rhum gas field, accounts for 5% of total UK gas production and work, which would begin at the opening of a new well to increase the amount of gas flowing to the mainland.
Some of BP’s operations at Rum are conducted under license by the american authorities, and that the licence is due to expire at the end of September. As the field is co-owned by a subsidiary of the Iranian state oil company, there is a considerable doubt of the licence will be renewed, and so BP has decided to postpone new jobs and more conceded, it is difficult to know if the current production will be interrupted by the threat of sanctions.
BP operations in the united states dwarf those it has in the North Sea and the company has told the BBC that he intends to fully comply with all the new sanctions regime.
The PB is in the process of selling its 50% stake in the field’s smallest operator, Serica, and both parties have said they intend to go ahead with the sale, but given a condition of the sale is the securing of a license, a question mark must hang over the thing and on the Rhum gas field of the future so that it is 50% Iranian prisoners.
Yet another example of the extraordinary extra-territorial reach of us trade policy.
The sanctions followed the AMERICAN President Donald Trump’s announcement of the withdrawal of the Iran nuclear deal.
A spokesman for BP said: “BP takes great care to ensure that we always comply with applicable sanctions. BP decided to defer some planned work on the Rhum gas field in the North Sea, while we seek clarity on the potential impact on the field of the recent government decision with regard to Iran.
“BP and Serica are now in discussion with the UK and the us authorities in order to better understand the situation and the measures that may be necessary to ensure the continued operation of Rum.”
Mitch Flegg, Serica ceo, said: “We will work with our partners and the government of the united KINGDOM, to identify measures acceptable to the american authorities, to protect the safe and efficient Rum operations and ensure maximum economic recovery of the reserves of this valuable UK resource.”The u.s. sanctions
A number of support services for the Rhum field are provided under a license from the Office of Foreign assets Control (OFAC).
The licence will expire at the end of September 2018 and it is difficult to know whether it will be renewed in the light of the us sanctions against Iran.
Serica said meetings are planned with the OFAC in the weeks to come.
In 2010, the Rum, the ground has been closed because the production could have been the rupture of the European Union sanctions against Iran.