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BP CEO Bob Dudley. Image courtesy of BP/Flickr.

BP has reportedly created a new committee to explore potential business opportunities in Iran that will exclude CEO Bob Dudley.

According to Reuters, Dudley, the company’s American chief executive, will not be on the committee in order to avoid potential issues with U.S. sanctions against the oil-rich country.

Sources told Reuters that BP CFO Brian Gilvary will lead the committee and coordinate the company’s operations in Iran as well as any potential talks with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

Gilvary is a British national.

“The separate governance structure does not involve Bob or any other U.S. citizens and was set up for Bob’s own protection,” a source told Reuters.

BP has not commented on the matter.

Iran has been able to ramp-up production to 3.67 million barrels per day since Western sanctions were lifted at the start of the year.

However, sanctions against U.S. companies doing business with the Iranian government remain in place.

An Iranian official told Reuters in October that the NIOC hopes to offer tenders for 11 oil and gas fields.

Earlier this month, France’s Total became the first major oil firm to sign a development deal with Iran since Western sanctions were lifted.

The South Pars 11 project will have a production capacity of 1.8 billion cubic feet per day, or 370,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Iran’s focus on boosting production scuttled two attempts to reach an OPEC production deal earlier this year.
Iran has said that it will not sign on to OPEC’s most recent proposed production plan until its production climbs past the 4 million bpd mark.