StatoilHydro head quits on probe

The head of newly-created StatoilHydro has resigned amid a probe into possible corruption over contracts in Libya.

Eivind Reiten, who is also the head of Norsk Hydro, said he had to step down to avoid a conflict of interest.

The probe started on Monday, when the company – formed when Statoil acquired Norsk Hydro’s oil and gas division – first listed its shares.

StatoilHydro wants to find out if contracts it took over from Norsk Hydro broke Norwegian or international law.

The giant energy firm has been under investigation for contracts made by Norsk Hydro regarding oil deals in Libya.

“Out of consideration to StatoilHydro, I have after careful consideration decided that it is right for me to stand down from my position as chairman of the board of StatoilHydro,” Mr Reiten said.

The move by Mr Reiten comes after an earlier resignation by Norsk Hydro board chairman Jan Reinaas.

Mr Reinaas stepped down after being criticised for paying Mr Reiten and other high-ranking members of the firm substantial amounts in options before Statoil made its Norsk Hydro acquisition.

Marit Arnstad will take over Mr Reiten’s position until a replacement can be found.

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