22 Aug 2006

Iran Attacks Romanian Oil Rig

Bloomberg is reporting that:

Iran attacked and seized control of a Romanian oil rig working in its Persian Gulf waters this morning one week after the Iranian government accused the European drilling company of “hijacking” another rig.

An Iranian naval vessel fired on the rig owned by Romania’s Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) in the Salman field and took control of its radio room at about 7:00 a.m. local time, Lulu Tabanesku, Grup’s representative in the United Arab Emirates said in a phone interview from Dubai today.

“The Iranians fired at the rig’s crane with machine guns,” Tabanesku said. “They are in control now and we can’t contact the rig.” The Romanian company has 26 workers on the platform, he said.

AP adds:

GSP, also known as the Oil Services Group, is a private Romanian company established in 2004 which operates six offshore rigs that it bought from Romania’s largest oil company, Petrom.

Two of its rigs are operating near the Iranian coast in the Persian Gulf as part of a deal signed between Petrom, GSP and Dubai-based Oriental Oil Co.

The Romanian company was in Iranian courts earlier this year over a dispute involving another one of its oil rigs, Fortuna, the financial weekly Saptamana Financiara has reported. It was unclear whether Tuesday’s incident was related to legal issues.

The Orizont rig was built in 1987 and weighs 13,000 tons.

What is the European Union going to do about this, do you suppose?

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