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AFX News Limited: US govt says OMV could face possible sanctions if Iran gas deal advances

06.14.07, 7:39 AM ET
VIENNA (Thomson Financial) – The US government said that OMV AG could face possible US sanctions in the event that the company’s preliminary dealings with Iran over the development of the South Pars gas field should lead to significant investments.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told a press briefing that the US has informed both OMV and the Austrian government that the US’s Iran Sanctions Act could lead the country to look into the possibility of applying sanctions against any company that invests more than 20 mln usd in one year in Iran’s oil and gas sector.

McCormack said that while the US was ‘not by any means’ at the point of considering sanctions, countries and businesses around the world needed to be aware of this possibility.

OMV spokesman Thomas Huemer said that the company would respect all Austrian, EU and relevant international laws in its dealings with Iran’s National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

Huemer told Thomson Financial News that such other European energy sector players as Shell, Statoil (nyse: STO – news – people ), Repsol and Total had engaged in business activities in Iran.

Asked whether the company has been in direct contact with US Government representatives, Huemer said that it is OMV’s standing policy not to comment on its contacts with government officials.

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