Chevron Corp. has purchased data on an oil project in Iran, but will not submit a bid for the project in order to avoid violating U.S. sanctions, a company spokesman said on November 8th.
The spokesman said that: “Within the constraints imposed by U.S. sanctions, we purchased two data packages for internal study containing existing and current information on the South Pars field development. U.S. sanctions at this time would not permit us to submit any form of bid for the project.”
American firms are prevented from investing more than $20 million in Iran under the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) enacted by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1995.
The spokesman denied industry reports that Chevron had been shortlisted, along with 26 other local and international firms, by the state-owned Pars Oil and Gas to develop phases nine through twelve of the South Pars natural gas field development project.
Since the U.S. Treasury Department began investigating U.S.-based Conoco Inc. in September to determine whether the company had committed a breach of sanctions for performing seismic analysis on the Azadegan field in Iran, U.S. firms have moved cautiously.
European and Asian firms have been stepping up investments in Iran, with Tehran and Japan signing an agreement on November1st granting priority negotiation rights for the development of Azadegan to private Japanese firms.
Conoco had reportedly also attempted to secure negotiating rights for the field, which it hoped to develop after the easing of U.S. unilateral sanctions against Iran.