Statoil chief resigns over Iran link

23 September 2003
The chief executive of Norway's Statoil, Olav Fjell, resigned on 23 September over allegations of corruption in Statoil's dealings with Iran. Norwegian police are investigating the case to see if the company is guilty of 'punishable corruption'. The investigation focuses on a $15 million contract between Statoil International E&P and London-based consultants Horton Investment. Police are looking into whether Statoil may have benefited from a package of incentives offered to the consultancy firm, which has strong links with influential individuals in Iran. Fjell's resignation came after an overnight board meeting, and follows the departure of the company's chairman Leif Terje Loeddesoel on 21 September.

The company announced that it was 'important that a calmer atmosphere be established as quickly as possible in relation to the group, so that Statoil's development can continue'. Inge Hansen, the company's chief financial officer, has been appointed interim chief executive (MEED 19:9:03).

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