Statoil Dues Settled

Statoil Dues SettledStatoil Dues Settled

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) settled the final payment of its $600 million debt to the Norwegian oil company, Statoil ASA, four years following the completion of work on phases 6 to 8 of the South Pars gas field by the company.

The Norwegian company was commissioned to develop phases 6, 7, and 8 of the giant South Pars gas field, following a buy-back agreement signed between NIOC and Statoil in October 2002.

The project included three platforms 100 km from shore, and a 32-inch pipeline from the platforms to a gas treatment plant at Assaluyeh.

The buy-back agreement stipulated that the$600 million costs of the project incurred by Statoil will be reimbursed by the NIOC through sales of gas condensate and liquefied gas.

Upon completion in 2009, the NIOC took over as the formal operator of South Pars.

Before imposition of sanctions on Iran, two to four consignments were sent to Statoil per month, by means of which a substantial portion of the NIOC debt was cleared.

Although impediments caused by the US and EU sanctions on Iran's energy, shipment, and banking sectors deferred the payments for a while, Statoil could resume receiving the payments, due to an exception for payments attributable to previous contracts.

"We are being paid for these claims in the form of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)," Press TV had quoted spokesman for Statoil Company as saying in 2012.

According to the spokesman, payments as LPG were “an alternative way of making the payments, stipulated in the original contract."

"Statoil has had a good experience in Iran, especially with their work in the South Pars field  but they are currently not active in Iran due to the sanctions,"  Norwegian ambassador to Tehran, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, said last November.

"Given the current developments, most oil companies are following the developments in Iran closely and I presume this includes Statoil and possibly other Norwegian companies as well," he added.

South Pars is the world's largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. It adjoins Qatar’s North Field, which measures 6,000 square kilometers.