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Iran's NIOC delays Bangestan oilfield talks - BP Amoco
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posted February 16, 2001 11:15
NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Iran's state National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has delayed talks with foreign firms on its high-profile Bangestan oil project, BP Amoco, one of the competing companies, said on Thursday.
``Bangestan has been delayed by NIOC,'' BP Amoco's upstream chief Dick Olver said, adding that the company was also in talks with Iran to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petrochemicals.
BP Amoco is competing with Royal Dutch/Shell, ENI and TotalFinaElf for the multi-billion dollar Bangestan onshore development package, one of the biggest projects Iran has offered foreign investors.
International oil companies are eager for OPEC's second biggest oil exporter to accelerate buyback negotiations which have been bogged down by bureaucracy, political opposition to the program from conservative circles and other factors.
BP, one of Iran's biggest foreign investors before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, was keeping the U.S. State Department informed of all its activities, Olver told reporters after an analyst meeting in New York.
The U.S. Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) threatens sanctions against any foreign company investing more than $20 million a year in Iranian energy projects.
While Shell, TotalFina Elf and ENI have all defied the sanctions threat and signed up for Iranian deals, UK-based BP is sensitive because its takeover of Amoco and Arco has given it huge assets in the United States.
``We don't want to do anything to embarrass the U.S. government,'' Olver said.
ILSA expires in August and Olver said that BP would not be in a position to sign anything that might contravene ILSA before then. Many industry analysts do not expect ILSA to be renewed.
All times are PT (US)
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