Iran General NewsStatoilHydro to halt investments in Iran -FT

StatoilHydro to halt investments in Iran -FT

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ImageReuters: Norwegian oil and gas group StatoilHydro will not invest in the planned development of the Azar oil field in Iran, Financial Times reported on Friday, following pressure from the U.S.

ImageOSLO, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Norwegian oil and gas group StatoilHydro will not invest in the planned development of the Azar oil field in Iran, Financial Times reported on Friday, following pressure from the U.S.

StatoilHydro had been in talks to develop the field, but will announce on Friday that its plans were halted and that it "will not make any new investments in Iran at this time".

"We have been evaluating our investment decisions and having informed the authorities in Norway and the European Union and discussed the issue with the U.S., our view is that this position is in the best interest of shareholders and the company," Chief Executive Helge Lund told Financial Times on Thursday.

Lund also said the company would reduce its role in the South Pars gas project and transfer control to Iran's national oil company.

Similar decisions have been made by several companies in Europe and elsewhere as perceived risk to investors has grown.

Sanctions are meant to pressure Iran to accept international demands to halt uranium enrichment, suspected by Western powers to be aimed at making nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful. (Reporting by Aasa Christine Stoltz, editing by Will Waterman)

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