Eni to Restart Work in Iran After Debt Repaid

Eni to Restart Work in Iran After Debt Repaid

Italian oil major Eni will start working again in Iran when it has been repaid investments previously made and when it understands the type of contracts Tehran will be offering, CEO Claudio Descalzi said on Thursday.

"We are still in Iran ... we never left ... because they owe us a load of money and we are trying to recoup it ... We'll come back when we will have recouped all our money and we know the contracts," Descalzi said in a meeting with students, Reuters reported.

Iran for years has been using oil to pay back Eni for decade-old deals.

"We're not in a hurry to go back but ... we will restart work in Iran," Descalzi added.

Eni came to Iran in the early 2000s. It was to develop Phase 3 of Darkhovein Oilfield in Khuzestan Province and Phase 19 of South Pars Gas Field, but halted operations due to sanctions.

Eni is active in exploration and production sector as well as downstream projects, including refining and marketing of petroleum products. It is one of the world's major oil and gas contractors in engineering, construction and drilling projects both offshore and onshore.

It is also discussing terms to resume crude imports from Iran. According to reports, Eni wants to take in 100,000 barrels of Iranian crude per day. The Italian major is also exploring grounds for dozens of oil and gas projects that Tehran hopes to put out to tender in the near future.

According to Descalzi, Iran will need to invest at least $150 billion in infrastructure to become a major oil and gas producer, Financial Tribune reports.