Italian gas company in Iran threatened with US sanctions
Rome: Italy's largest energy company has said it will end its role as lead developer of a natural gas field in Iran after the US threatened to impose sanctions on it.
Eni will transfer the Darkhovin gas field to local partners after the US threatened to place sanctions on companies doing business with energy-rich Iran which Washington and its allies say is developing nuclear weapons.
"We will hand over the field within the next few weeks," Paolo Scaroni, Eni chief executive, said here on Thursday.
"We are aware of initiatives by the US to adopt laws, regulations or policies requiring divestment from companies that do business with countries designated as states of sponsoring terrorism," Eni said in its 2009 report.
"These policies could adversely impact or limit investment by certain investors in our securities and so possibly impact adversely our share price," it said.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has called for tighter sanctions against Iran and said Italian companies have cut business ties with Tehran by a third since 2007.
The Italian government is the largest shareholder of Eni and the company said it would pull out of Iran after Berlusconi's pledge.
No new sanctions have been imposed on its Iranian activities, but any new US sanctions could pose a risk for the energy giant.
Darkhovin is the only gas field operated by Eni in Iran, the company said.