Market News

FACTBOX-Foreign firms stepping away from Iran

May 4 (Reuters) - U.S. pressure has prompted a growing number of oil firms, trading houses and other international companies to halt business with Iran this year.

While the United States pushes for tougher U.N. sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, the U.S. Congress is trying to hammer out a final bill which would punish foreign companies that export gasoline and other petroleum products to Iran.

Here are some details:

* Italy’s oil and gas major Eni is handing over operatorship of Darkhovin oilfield in Iran to local partners to avoid U.S. sanctions, Eni told U.S. authorities on April 29. Eni, present in Iran since 1957, said it had only residual activities relating to buy-back contracts dating to 2000 and 2001. [ID:nnLDE63S0XT] * French energy giant Total will cease gasoline sales to Iran if the United States passes legislation to penalise fuel suppliers to Iran, its chief executive said on April 26. [ID:nLDE63P0UZ]

* Russian oil major LUKOIL will cease gasoline sales to Iran, industry sources said on April 7, following a similar decision by Royal Dutch Shell in March. LUKOIL had supplied some 250,000 to 500,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran every other month, traders said. [ID:nLDE636061]

* Malaysia’s Petronas has stopped supplying gasoline to Iran, a company spokesman said on April 15. Petronas last shipped a gasoline cargo into the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas between March 4 and 5, industry sources said. [ID:nSGE63E09V] * Luxury carmaker Daimler became the latest German firm to reduce business ties with Iran in protest at its nuclear policy. Daimler announced on April 14 plans to sell its 30 percent stake in an Iranian engine maker and freeze the planned export to Iran of cars and trucks. The announcement followed similar action by German companies Siemens, Munich Re and Allianz. [ID:nLDE63C0TG]

* India’s largest private refiner Reliance Industries will not renew a contract to import crude oil from Iran for financial year 2010, two sources familiar with the supply deal said on April 1. India’s top privately run refiner did not purchase any Iranian crude in February and March, the sources said. [ID:nSGE630033]

* Oil trading firms Trafigura and Vitol are stopping gasoline sales to Iran, industry sources said on March 8. [ID:LDE627129]

* Ingersoll-Rand Plc , a maker of air compressors and cooling systems for buildings and transport, said it will no longer allow subsidiaries to sell parts or products to Tehran. [IDnN09245639]

* Oilfield services company Smith International said on March 1 it was actively pursuing the termination of all its activities in Iran. [ID:nN01116545]

* Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, said on March 1 it had tightened its policy on not doing business with Iran to prevent foreign subsidiaries from selling equipment to independent dealers who resell it to Tehran. [ID:nN01245727]

* German engineering conglomerate Siemens said in January it would not accept further orders from Iran. [ID:nLDE60P1LJ]

* Glencore ceased gasoline supply to Iran in November 2009 according to traders. The Swiss-based commodities trader in January declined comment on the matter. [ID:nSGE60A0CF]

* BP stopped supplying Iran in 2008.


* Russia’s Gazprom confirmed in March it was in talks with Iran on developing the Azar oil field.

* The New York Times reported on March 6 that a number of foreign companies had received U.S contract payments for doing business in Iran. The list included Japanese carmaker Mazda and South Korean engineering group Daelim Industrial.

* The website of New York-based pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) lists 200 companies it says still do business with Iran, including names such as Honeywell International, Advanced Micro Devices and Coca-Cola Co.

* The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported in April that 41 foreign companies were involved in Iran’s oil, natural gas and petrochemical sectors from 2005 to 2009, with activities ranging from exploration and development to refining and construction of pipelines and tankers. (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;)