UPDATE 1-Statoil says may pull ex-pats' families from Iran

Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:43am EDT

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(Adds Statoil closed for the day)

OSLO, June 16 (Reuters) - Norwegian oil and gas group StatoilHydro (STL.OL) said on Tuesday it is considering pulling the families of its foreign workers out of Iran due to security concerns after Friday's presidential elections. StatoilHydro, which is part of the South Pars gas project, has 120 workers in Iran. About half are foreigners.

"We are very likely to ask the families of ex-pats to leave Iran ... The object is safety and nothing else," StatoilHydro spokesman Kai Nielsen told Reuters.

"We are following the situation very closely," he said, adding that for the time being there were no plans to ask staff to leave.

Nielsen said Statoil shut its Tehran office for the day because of nearby street protests after a disputed presidential poll that prompted the biggest protests since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Statoil's head office is in Iran are in Tehran and the company has offices nearer the South Pars project site. A number of the ex-pat's families are in Tehran. (Reporting by Wojciech Moskwa; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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