UK Rhum gas field could restart in 6-9 months - BP

LONDON Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:17pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - The Rhum gas field in the North Sea, co-owned by oil major BP and the Iranian Oil Company and shut down to comply with Iranian sanctions in 2010, could resume output in 6-9 months, a spokesman for BP said on Thursday.

"Our view based on our experience is it will be at least 6-9 months before we will be able to restart production," the spokesman said.

The British government gave the green light three weeks ago to restart the high pressure, high temperature gas field to avoid permanent damage to the facility.

A spokeswoman for Britain's energy ministry confirmed that all outstanding documents allowing the restart had been issued.

The Rhum gas field was contributing around 4 percent to UK gas production before its shutdown.

EU sanctions against Iranian companies, including IOC, are still in place, and the UK government will handle IOC's revenue from gas sales at Rhum by placing them in a frozen account.

The field started pumping gas in December 2005 and cost 350 million pounds ($565.6 million) to build.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by David Evans)

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