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Cablegate: Repsol Confirms No Plans with Iran and Indicates

VZCZCXRO8139
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMD #1008 2661049
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 221049Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0197
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5353
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3585

S E C R E T MADRID 001008

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/16/2018
TAGS: ECON EFIN EINV ETRD KTFN PREL PARM PTER IR
SP, IZ
SUBJECT: REPSOL CONFIRMS NO PLANS WITH IRAN AND INDICATES
INTEREST IN IRAQ

REF: A. MADRID 836
B. MADRID 492

Classified By: Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (S) Ambassador Aguirre met September 17 with Repsol
General Counsel and Secretary to the Board Luis Suarez de
Lezo. During the discussion, Suarez de Lezo advised the
Ambassador that, after Repsol had allowed to expire its
option on its block in Iran's South Pars field (reftels), it
had no remaining contractual relationships with Iran. (Note:
A press report (ref b) at the time of the decision earlier
this year had said that Repsol was seeking concessions for
blocks 23 and 24, which would be developed in the next
decade.) Suarez de Lezo said Repsol was not planning to
engage in operations in Iran in the near future. Saurez de
Lezo added, however, that Repsol would continue to maintain
its contacts and relationships in Iran in order to be ready
if and when Iran returns to good standing in the future. He
reiterated once again that despite maintaining these
contacts, Repsol would not engage in activities with Iran.
The Ambassador applauded Repsol's decision, further stressing
the importance of not entering into energy agreements with
Iran.

2. (S) Separately, the Ambassador explained that recent
meetings with S/I Ambassador Satterfield indicated that
Iraq's improving security situation and growing openness to
private investment could be an opportunity for those
companies interested in developing Iraq's oil and gas
potential, especially if the Iraqis moved from small,
piecemeal technical service contracts to a more market-based
approach with production-sharing agreements. The Ambassador
asked Suarez de Lezo whether Repsol would be interested in
exploring potential operations in Iraq. Suarez de Lezo
replied that Repsol would be very interested and committed to
following up with Post. When he does, Post will put him in
contact with the appropriate POC at Embassy Baghdad.
Aguirre

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