Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Iran 'attacks Romanian oil rig'

Hat Tip to Mike for this one.

I don't know what this is going to mean, but I don't think it's a trivial event.

A Romanian oil company says one of its rigs stationed in the Gulf has come under fire from Iranian troops.

A spokesman for the firm GSP said Iranian troops had seized the rig after firing from a nearby ship, and GSP lost contact with its 26 workers there.

Radu Petrescu said the Orizont rig had been moored near Kish island since October 2005.

GSP operates two rigs off Kish. The other rig is reported to have been involved in a legal dispute in Iran.

It is unclear whether the incident on Tuesday was related to that dispute.

The shooting reportedly happened as the rig was being taken outside Iranian waters for a mandatory overhaul.

The rigs are operated under a deal signed between Petrom, GSP and Dubai-based Oriental Oil Co.

A statement on GSP's website, signed by company president Gabriel Comanescu, said the Iranian action was a "flagrant breach of all the international rules".

It said that since Monday, Iranian military helicopters and ships had been "trying to intimidate the Romanian crew aboard the rig".

Then early on Tuesday "an Iranian military cutter boat opened fire against the Orizont rig, in the stern crane" and Iranian troops occupied the rig, the statement said.

"We do not know if anyone is hurt," it added.


At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a mess! I have spent half the day trying to get some good information on this story. The Iranians say that they still have lease claims on the rig and that some of their people were towed into international waters aboard this rig against their will. Romania appears to claim that the lease agreement is up and they are doing required routine maintenance. Now Romania claims that the rig has been fired upon and they are going to international court for arbitration. Yeah, that'll straighten this out. What hope does the world have of solving big disputes when countries are now fighting over a single drilling platform?

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Methinks Iran has internal budget and unemployment problems:


At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

You guys'll notice, I'm sure, that I got that from BBC News. Not sure if AP or Reuters even picked it up. I don't think CNN did either.


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