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Statoil now keen on Iraq

Norwegian state oil company Statoil has reversed its position and now is interested in trying to rebuild Iraq's oil industry.

Norwegian state oil company Statoil has reversed its position and now is interested in trying to rebuild Iraq's oil industry.

Statoil executives sent a letter to officials dealing with oil issues in Iraq just before Christmas, offering to assist them in building up oil production.

As late as last summer Statoil executives made it clear that they weren't so interested.

"The situation is now a bit different than it was then," Statoil spokesman Kai Nielsen told newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend. "The Iraqis are now asking for international assistance in rebuildng the oil industry.

"And we think we have something to offer, both technologically and organization-wise," he continued. "That's what we've written in our letter."

Statoil hasn't received any response so far from the authorities in Iraq, who have been appointed by the US occupation forces. Nor has Statoil teamed up with any partners.

Nielsen wouldn't reveal details of what Statoil can offer, but there's a great need for new pipelines in Iraq, and that's an area where Statoil has competence.

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