DUBAI, (Reuters) – Oilfield services company Halliburton Co has brushed aside claims the decision to set up a second headquarters in Dubai was aimed at evading U.S. sanctions to resume operations in Iran.
“These assumptions and suppositions are absolutely untrue,” David Lesar, chief executive of Halliburton, told Dubai-based .Commerce magazine in an interview to be published on Jan. 31.
The Dubai move sparked controversy among U.S. politicians last March. Senator Frank Lautenberg at the time accused Halliburton of going “to extraordinary lengths in the past to do business with the terrorist government in Iran”.
“The company’s odd announcement this week certainly sets off alarm bells about its intention to do business with state sponsors of terrorism,” he said in a statement at the time.
Lesar maintained that Dubai was the right destination to continue building its international business.
“The eastern hemisphere is a market that is more heavily weighted toward oil exploration and production opportunities and growing our business here will bring more balance to Halliburton’s portfolio,” Lesar said.
The company said on Monday that quarterly net profit rose 5 percent on strength in its eastern hemisphere business and a lower tax rate.