Geopolitik Energi

April 9, 2007

Halliburton completes oil field projects in Iran

Still, a federal grand jury has looked into whether the company or its executives knowingly violated a U.S. ban on trade with Iran.

In a separate statement Monday, Halliburton said it was cooperating with the federal government’s “ongoing investigation” of its business in Iran. Since responding to a grand jury subpoena seeking documents in the fall of 2004, the company said it has had no further inquiries from the Justice Department.

Lesar has characterized the Iranian contracts as “minuscule” compared with its other work, the bulk of which entails providing equipment and services to companies exploring for and producing oil and natural gas.

Halliburton said last month Lesar would move to a new corporate headquarters in Dubai to oversee Halliburton’s intensified focus on business in the Mideast and energy-hungry Asia.

Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a longtime critic of Halliburton’s operation in Iran, recently introduced legislation to deter subsidiaries of U.S-controlled companies from doing business in Iran. Lautenberg’s measure, included in a larger bill on Iran, would strengthen existing sanction provisions that prohibit American companies from conducting business with nations that sponsor terrorism.

Lautenberg has said some American companies have exploited a loophole in the law by creating foreign subsidiaries that are incorporated overseas for the specific purpose of bypassing U.S. sanctions. He cites Halliburton as an example.

“Halliburton had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of Iran,” Lautenberg said Monday. “If Halliburton wasn’t pressured by Congress, they would still be doing business in Iran.”

Already, Halliburton and its former KBR Inc. division have been lightning rods for criticism because of KBR’s more than $19 billion (€14.21 billion) in Pentagon contracts to be the sole provider of food and shelter services to the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Democrats in Congress have claimed KBR benefited from ties to Vice President Dick Cheney, who once led Halliburton.

Halliburton last week completed a stock-swap program that separates itself from KBR, leaving two independent companies.

Halliburton shares fell 34 cents to close Monday at $32.60 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have traded in a 52-week range of $26.33 to $41.98.

(http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/09/business/NA-FIN-US-Halliburton-Iran.php)

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