Foreign activity down in Iran energy sector-GAO
WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Commercial activity in Iran by foreign energy firms has fallen in the last year, with the number of firms investing there in 2011 half the number a year earlier, a government report showed. Sixteen foreign firms were operating in Iran's oil, gas and petrochemical sectors between Jan. 1, 2010 and May 30, 2011, down from 41 firms the year before, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report released on Wednesday. Many of the firms that pulled out of Iran in the last year reported sanctions from the United States and other organizations led them to cease activity, the GAO said. The United States has imposed sanctions to prevent U.S. companies from investing in energy programs in Iran, and additional sanctions exist for foreign firms that invest more than $20 million. The GAO also said five of seven companies operating in Iran between 2005 and 2009 that held U.S. government contracts had left the country. The remaining two firms, South Korea's Daelim Industrial (000210.KS) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (009540.KS), hold more than $4 million worth of U.S. government contracts. Here are the foreign firms operating in Iran's energy sector: COMPANY COUNTRY SECTOR Belneftekhim/Belarusneft Belarus Oil exploration/ production China National Offshore China Natural gas Oil Corp China National Petroleum China Oil exploration/ Corp production natural gas Daelim South Korea Natural gas Edison Italy Oil exploration/ production Hyundai Heavy Industries South Korea Refining INA Croatia Oil exploration/ production natural gas Indian Oil Corp India Natural gas Oil and Natural Gas India Oil exploration/ Corp (ONGC) production natural gas Oil India India Natural gas OMV Austria Natural gas ONGC Videsh India Natural gas Petroleos de Venezuela SA Venezuela Natural gas Sasol South Africa Petrochemicals Sinopec China Oil exploration/ production, refining Sonangol Angola Natural gas (Compiled by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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