Iran Economy NewsBP, Statoil’s Shah Deniz gas field exempt from EU...

BP, Statoil’s Shah Deniz gas field exempt from EU Iran sanctions

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Bloomberg: BP Plc and Statoil ASA’s Shah Deniz natural-gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan was exempted from European Union sanctions on Iran, clearing the way for a project designed to reduce the continent’s reliance on Russia.

By Ben Farey

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc and Statoil ASA’s Shah Deniz natural-gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan was exempted from European Union sanctions on Iran, clearing the way for a project designed to reduce the continent’s reliance on Russia.

EU regulations published today are intended to inhibit Iranian business activities and prevent European technology from helping the country’s nuclear program. Article 30 in the measures against Iran was added so that development of the field, a possible source of gas for Europe, wouldn’t be impeded, a person familiar with the regulations said on Oct. 22.

Tehran-based Naftiran Intertrade Co. has a 10 percent stake in AzerbiajAn’s biggest gas field that may help supply fuel to the 7.9 billion-euro ($10.9 billion) planned Nabucco link and bring gas to Europe via Turkey from 2015.

Europe plans to import gas by pipeline from the Caspian Sea area and Middle East to reduce reliance on Russian gas that meets about a quarter of the continent’s demand.

EU governments joined the U.S. in July in imposing curbs on Iran’s energy industries, banks and shipping companies, seeking to force the Persian state to halt uranium enrichment and stop any pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

BP and Statoil each own stakes of 25.5 percent in Shah Deniz. Other partners with 10 percent stakes are State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, OAO Lukoil, Naftiran Intertrade Co. and Total. Turkiye Petrolleri AO owns 9 percent.

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