Cablegate: Ilsa Response From Repsol Is Business As Usual

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


B. SECSTATE 204528
C. 2003 MADRID 4423

1. (SBU) We spoke with Mario B. Rosso, Director General of
the Eastern Hemisphere and Caribbean for REPSOL-YPF (Repsol)
about Reftel A and B points.

2. (SBU) Rosso was well-prepared to handle the topic,
explaining that the framework agreement noted in Reftel B was
only "investigative," and that several years will pass before
any final investment decision would be made. He said that
Repsol "will judge at the appropriate moment" details
regarding any final agreement.

3. (SBU) Rosso acknowledged that Repsol, as noted in Reftel
A, has arranged to explore areas in the Persian Gulf, but
that the Iranians and the media have blown the magnitude of
the project "immensely" out of proportion because Repsol has
the option to walk out of the project on "almost any day."

4. (SBU) In justifying Repsol,s activities in Iran, Rosso
said that Repsol personnel are behaving as "good citizens"
He also alluded to a point he underscored in our December
2003 meeting with him (see Reftel C) in which he informed us
that US oil companies were negotiating in Libya, preparing
for the day when they operate there. During that 2003
meeting, Rosso asserted that Repsol must prepare to compete
with US companies when the US doors open to Libya. During
our latest meeting with Rosso, he said "who knows in two
years what might happen?" As with Libya in 2003, he feels
that he must prepare for future US competition in Iran.

5. (SBU) Comment: As always, Rosso appeared to be well
aware of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) and that his
company most likely will not feel any negative impact from
this law. He is keenly aware of the competitive nature of
his industry, and anticipates that US companies will compete
fiercely with Repsol in Iran upon any future lifting of ILSA
sanctions pertaining to Iran.

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