TGS-NOPEC Delivers Completed Surveys for Western Sahara
Following completion of its field operations in Western Sahara in January 2003, TGS-NOPEC has now delivered the final processed products for approximately 85% of the survey to its customers and expects to deliver the remaining portions during the next two weeks. The Company has the right to license the data already collected, but has no agreement to participate in, or profit from any future exploratory drilling or any production or exploitation of mineral resources from the area.
New focus on this activity recently arose in the press when the Norwegian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vidar Helgesen made public statements in February 2003 to the effect that Norwegian authorities advise Norwegian companies to display restraint in taking on activities in disputed areas of the world.
TGS-NOPEC appreciates the complexity of the political issues in the area and respects the views stated by Norwegian authorities. As a result, the Company has decided not to undertake any new projects in Western Sahara without a change in political developments. Further, the Company is committed to improve its procedures for risk evaluation on potential projects in disputed areas of the world and will actively seek advice from Norwegian authorities when in doubt. TGS-NOPEC has maintained a constructive dialogue with a number of its large Norwegian institutional shareholders including Folketrygdfondet and Storebrand throughout this process.
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