Shell oil

With the price of a barrel of oil beyond $100 per drum, global oil powerhouse Royal Dutch Shell is raking in some serious coin. But while Shell is bringing in the big bucks, it still cannot pay one very important client.

Bloomberg is citing four sources who claim that Shell is finding it difficult to pay Iran about $1 billion due to financial sanctions put in place by the United States and Europe. The bill is reportedly the result of about eight million barrels of oil. On January 23, the European Union placed the ban on oil from Iran, but gave companies until July to wind down business with the world's second-largest producer of oil.

Shell is in a tough spot because it is stuck between obeying sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to scrap its nuclear program and paying the National Iranian Oil Co, which supplies about 100,000 barrels of crude daily. But while Shell is at risk of angering Tehran, other oil companies stopped getting oil from Iran months ago.

It doesn't appear that it will be easy for Shell to pay its bill, but there may be a way. Bloomberg reports that the oil giant could approach the British government to help settle the debt.