Royal Dutch Shell is discussing the repayment of an outstanding debt of over $2 billion to the Iranian government when international sanctions are removed, according to media reports.
Chief Executive Officer Ben von Beurden told reporters at OPEC seminar in Vienna that he had met Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh to “give assurance that payments will be made as soon as they can be made.”
Beurden also said he “also made it very clear that ... the moment the sanctions regime has changed, we will look at opportunities in Iran,” according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The British government has thus far prevented Shell from paying the debt from the oil that the company bought from National Iranian Oil Company in 2013.
Although they were not listed on the sanctioned items list at the time, the UK blocked the efforts of the company to pay its debt with grain or pharmaceuticals.
Many Western oil companies' eyes new are on deals to extract Iranian oil after the sanctions are removed following an expected international settlement over Iran’s nuclear programme.