Norway’s Statoil is pulling out of its Iranian oil operations and will pay a penalty for foregoing its commitments, as stipulated in its agreement with Iran.
The Mehr News Agency reports that the multinational oil company Statoil and the National Iranian Oil Company are negotiating an end to their collaboration.
The current $50-million agreement between the two companies began five years ago and has been mostly completed. However, three oil wells planned for Khorramabad as part of the agreement have not been dug, according to a Ministry of Oil official.
Last October, Norwegian media reported that Statoil will leave Iran by 2012 in order to avoid U.S. sanctions.
The United States had said that European oil companies can avoid U.S. sanctions by voluntarily abandoning their activities in Iran.
The United States has been pressuring companies to pull out of Iran in hopes of forcing Iran to respond to concerns about its nuclear activities.
Iran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful and says the U.S. and the international community have no right to dictate Iran’s activities.