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Wed 6 Aug 2008 04:00 AM

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Iran suffers another setback

StatoilHydro withdraw investment from troubled nation.

StatoilHydro has become the next in a line of major oil companies to withdraw investments in Iran, following pressure form the United Sates to isolate the Islamic Republic over its nuclear ambitions.

The Norwegian company made the decision this month due to the growing risk posed, but has said it will honour existing contracts.

CEO Helge Lund said the company was in dialogue with the US and European authorities about the status in Iran, where it is the offshore operator for development phases 6 to 8 on the South Pars gas field in the Gulf.

“We are familiar with laws and regulations in the United States and the European Union, and will not make any new investments in Iran in today's situation. First and foremost, StatoilHydro will see through its contractual obligations in Iran,” Lund told reporters.

StatoilHydro are the latest in a line of majors to announce they would no longer be investing in the country, following similar pullouts by Total and Shell. The company had been involved in talks to develop and invest in the Anaran project in the Azar oil field in Iran. The plans have now been halted.

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