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Cablegate: Statoil's Investment in Iranian Oil and Gas

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNY #0753 3381534
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041534Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY OSLO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8023
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0364
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS OSLO 000753

STATE FOR EEB/ESC - CBACKEMEYER, NEA/IR - RWADHWANI

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET ENRG EPET ETTC ECON PREL IR NO
SUBJECT: Statoil's Investment in Iranian Oil and Gas

REF: (A) STATE 121808 (B) 11/25/09 Hammang Email
(C) OSLO 741 (D) 12/4/09 Sirotic/Backemeyer Email

(U) This document is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) In a December 3 meeting with Oslo-based Statoil executives
Gunnar Myrvang and Gunnar Heiberg, Poleconoff delivered ref A
points, stressing USG concerns on investment in Iran's energy
industry and requesting information on specific Statoil activities
in Iran described ref B. This cable is in addition to the interim
response sent earlier this week (ref C), which reported post's
demarche to government of Norway officials and our telephone
conversations with Statoil.

2. (SBU) Myrvang stated that Statoil has pursued a policy of
disclosure ("no surprises") with respect to the USG on its
activities in Iran, including provision of regular briefings. Last
year, Statoil's CEO committed to fulfilling existing contracts in
Iran, while refraining from undertaking any new projects. The
company is downsizing operations in Iran, both in terms of local
staff and expatriates. He provided the following information on
specific projects (see also Statoil's powerpoint presentation on the
subject, which the Embassy shared with the Department in ref D):

--South Pars 6, 7, 8: Statoil representatives said this was the
company's only substantial activity in Iran. Statoil has a 37
percent share of the development phase of this gas project,
structured as a buyback contract. Phases 8 and 6 started producing
gas in August and December 2008, respectively, while Phase 7 is not
slated to begin production until the third quarter of 2010.
Statoil's involvement will cease once it has recouped its costs
through technical service agreements, which involve providing staff
to support gas production. These will initially last one year,
renewable for up to two additional years, with activity projected to
wind up by 212.

--Anaran Exploration Block: Myrvang told u that Statoil's
discussions on this project effecively ended in 2008 when its CEO
committed to rerain from new projcts in Iran.

--Khoramabad Exloration Block: Statoil has an exploration contrat
with the National Iranian Oil Company. It hasgathered seismic data
but has no plans to do any rilling, according to Myrvang. owever,
Statoil's minimum work program calls for it to carry out USD 50
million of work over four years. Myrvang told us Statoil did not
intend to do further work on this contract.

3. (SBU) Heiberg and Myrvang asked Poleconoff to keep them posted on
the progress of the Department's review, and also asked which other
companies were subject to review. Heiberg commented that if Western
oil companies uniformly pulled out of Iran, other firms, especially
those based in China, would likely take their place.

WHITE

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