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"The United States said on Wednesday it will not investigate Inpex Corp, Japan's top oil explorer, for its past investments in Iran because of its decision to pull out of an Iranian oilfield project. Inpex on Oct. 15 announced that it would withdraw from Iran's Azadegan oil field project because new U.S. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program posed a potential threat to the company's business. The company, which had a 10 percent stake in the oil field, feared the sanctions could hamper its ability to raise money from U.S. institutions as well as hinder its global projects... In a statement, the State Department said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had decided to use a provision of the Iran Sanctions Act to spare the company from an investigation into its past investments in Iran's energy sector. 'This decision is a result of INPEX's Oct. 15 announcement to complete its withdrawal from the $2 billion project in Iran's South Azadegan oil field,' the department said, saying Inpex had promised not to conduct any energy-related activity in Iran that could trigger Iran Sanctions Act sanctions." (Reuters, "U.S. will not probe Inpex's Iranian activities," 11/17/10)
On October 15th, Inpex confirmed that it is withdrawing from Iran's Azadegan oil field project, in a move designed to avoid running afoul of US sanctions. A company representative stated that "Inpex Corp has reached an agreement with Iran's state oil company that its subsidiary will withdraw from the Azadegan oilfield project" (AFP, "Japan exits Iran's biggest onshore oil field project," 10/15/2010).
“The Japanese government and oil developer Inpex Corp. plan to completely withdraw from Iran's largest onshore oil field project to avoid possible US sanctions, news reports said Thursday. The move, which may be announced this week, is to prevent government-backed Inpex being included in a list of companies subject to US sanctions against Iran, the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Nikkei reported, citing government sources. Iran's Azadegan oilfield, which has some 42 billion barrels of oil, was initially to have been developed with Inpex.” (AFP, "Japan to withdraw from oil project: reports," 9/30/2010)
"Reports issued by U.S. researchers attempting to document activity by multinational companies in Iran have named Inpex Corp...as doing business that could possibly run afoul of the new U.S. rules.
Inpex has a 10% stake in the Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran, and has no current plans to sell that holding, Mr. Kitamura said."We are responsible on our shareholders' behalf for recovering money we had invested," he added. Inpex was named in an April report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office listing 41 firms from around the world that had commercial activity in Iran's oil, gas and petrochemical sectors from 2005-2009.
Inpex, which engages in extensive global oil-and-gas activities, initially owned a 75% stake in the Azadegan project and was set to be the operator of the field. But in 2006, as the U.S. was stepping up pressure on allies to curb business ties with Iran, the National Iranian Oil Co. took over the bulk of the project's shareholding and operations."
(Wall Street Journal, "New U.S. Law on Iran May Hurt Japanese Firms," 7/1/2010)
"Japanese energy producer Inpex Corp. (1605.TO) and plant maker JGC Corp. (1963.TO) are included in a list of companies that have been confirmed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office to have either signed an agreement to conduct business, invested capital or received payment for providing goods or services in connection with a Iranian oil, gas, or petrochemical projects during the 2005-09 period.
Inpex has been engaged in the development of the Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran, and JGC participated in expanding a refinery located in Arak, western Iran, according to the GOA report, which was released April 22. Members of the U.S. Congress are debating legislation that would impose unilateral sanctions against Iran over its uranium processing activities.
Inpex owned a 75% stake as the operator in the Azadegan project, but parted with most of it to National Iranian Oil Co., its project partner, in 2006 after a continued delay in starting development work at the site.... Since then, Inpex has held a 10% interest in Azadegan while NIO has owned the remainder as the operator." (Down Jones Newswires, "Japan Not Too Worried Inpex, JGC On US Sanctions List," 4/27/10)
"The enormous New York State Common Retirement Fund plans to divest $86.2 million in investments from nine companies doing business in Sudan and Iran...The decision comes after two years of reviewing these companies, the potential risk of the investments and, in some cases, humanitarian efforts in these countries.'We don't expect our investments to benefit regimes that support genocide and terrorism,' said DiNapoli. The fund plans to divest out of $86 million in Gazprom (OGZPY), Inpex (1605.TO), Lukoil (LUKOY), Oil And Natural Gas Corp (500312.BY), OMV (OMVKY), Petroleo Brasilia (PBR), Statoil (STO), Wartsila OYJ and Sinopec Corp. DiNapoli said the firms were chosen because 'they failed to respond or we were not satisfied with their responses' when asked to provide information to the fund on the investments and their risks." (Dow Jones Newswires, "NY Comptroller To Divest $86.2M In State Pension Fund Investments," 6/30/09)
"In 2006, Iran stripped Japan's INPEX of most of its 75 percent stake in the Azadegan oilfield for moving too slowly on drilling." (Reuters, "Big oil watches Iran vote, but investment distant," 6/5/09)
"After years of negotiation, Japans Inpex Company agreed in 2004 to invest 75 percent of a $2 billion plan to develop Azadegan. But two years later, Iran cut Inpex's share to 10 percent, complaining that the firm was delaying on the project -- apparently under pressure by Washington." (Associated Press, "Iran looks to tap key oil field with homegrown crews," 5/11/08)
"Japan's state-controlled Inpex Holdings Inc. owned 75% of the Azedegan project but had consistently pushed back the launch because of the tense political environment. Increasingly impatient and with competitors such as China eager to pick up any slack, Tehran and Inpex finally agreed to slash the Japanese companys stake to just 10%." (Los Angeles Times, "Japan runs obstacle course in search of energy security," 11/4/06)
No response at this time.