The Hindu
March 26, 2010

Russia’s largest private oil major said it was suspending an oil project in Iran because of U.S. pressure.

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The LUKoil company issued a statement on Wednesday saying it had stopped further work on the Anaran project “because of the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. government.” It blamed the sanctions for a loss of some $63 million last year and said it feared more losses if it continued to carry on the project.

The Anaran field, with estimated oil reserves of 2 billion barrels, was operated by a consortium of Norwegian StatoilHydro (75 per cent) and LUKoil Overseas (25 per cent). LUKoil Overseas head Stanislav Kuzyev has clarified that his company retains its rights in the project and would be ready to return “under more favourable economic situation.”

LUKoil has 1,600 petrol filling stations in the U.S. and last year announced plans to build an oil refinery in the U.S. These investments would be vulnerable to tough sanctions the U.S. imposed on international energy companies operating in Iran.

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