Reports in the British media over the weekend suggested that Serica Energy had secured a renewed license and secondary sanctions assurance from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for work to go on at Rhum, a gasfiled located 240 miles (390 km) northeast of Aberdeen, in Scotland, Presstv Reported.
Operations at Rhum gasfield, jointly owned by the Serica Energy and a British subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), could now continue because of the rare waiver granted by the US government.
Washington has imposed a series of harsh sanctions on Iran’s energy sector since last year when it pulled out of a major international deal on the country’s nuclear program.
A previous waiver on Rhum would end at the end of October. The new waiver, valid until February 2021, means that US and US-owned or controlled entities will be allowed to provide goods, services and support to Serica Energy at the gasfield, one of the largest on the UK Continental Shelf.
Mitch Flegg, who serves as the CEO of Serica Energy, welcomed the OFAC decision, saying it could help the UK to continue production at one of its key energy sites.
Media reports suggest that Iran’s share of income from production at the site is estimated at around $1 million a day, although there has been no recent official confirmation about the issue.
Iran owns half of the stakes at the gas field based on a deal signed before the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The field is believed to be capable of producing more than five million cubic meters of natural gas, around five percent of UK’s domestic demand.
Based on an agreement between Iranian energy officials and UK diplomats in Tehran in 2014, when Iran was under European Union sanctions, London was supposed to deposit Iran’s share of revenues in a blocked bank account belonging to the NIOC.