- The Washington Times - Monday, January 10, 2005

TEHRAN (Agence France-Presse) — Iran said yesterday that U.S. oil services giant Halliburton won a major contract to drill for gas, despite U.S. sanctions against foreign investment in the country’s energy industry.

“Halliburton and Oriental Kish [an Iranian company] are the final winners of the tender for drilling South Pars phases 9 and 10,” Pars Oil and Gas Company Managing Director Akbar Torkan said, according to state television.

An unnamed Pars company board member said the deal for the gas fields in the Persian Gulf off the south coast of Iran was worth about $310 million.

He said Halliburton did not directly sign the contract but that it offered its services via Oriental Kish.

Under a law introduced in 1996, the United States threatens sanctions on both American and foreign companies investing more than $40 million in Iran’s petroleum industry.

Halliburton, once chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney, has come under investigation in the United States for its dealings with Iran through a Cayman Islands subsidiary.

Washington broke diplomatic ties with Tehran after Iranian university students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held Americans hostage for 444 days.

The United States also accuses Iran of covertly trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge denied by Tehran.

Iran, which is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ second-largest oil exporter, also has the world’s second-largest gas reserves.

Phases 9 and 10 of South Pars, operated jointly by South Korean and Iranian companies, are expected to produce 1.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas, 80,000 barrels of condensates and 400 tons of sulfur per day.

In addition, the phases are expected to annually produce 1 million tons of ethane for petrochemical feedstock and 1.05 million tons of liquefied petroleum gas for export.

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