Italy’s oil giant Eni says it has serious plans to return to Iran’s oil industry in a yet another indication of the growing interest of global energy corporations to approach the country’s post-sanctions business opportunities.
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi told Reuters that his company would start working again in Iran when it has been repaid investments previously made and when it understands the type of contracts Teheran will be offering.
"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," Reuters quoted Descalzi as saying in a meeting with students.
"We're not in a hurry to go back but ... we will restart work in Iran.”
Eni was involved in the development of several oil and gas projects in Iran before a series of US-led sanctions barred international oil corporations from investing in the country. The projects that the Italian energy giant was involved in Iran included the development of Phases 4 and 5 of the country’s South Pars oil field as well as the development of Darkhovin, Doroud and Balal oil fields.
Descalzi visited Tehran in April 2015 for fresh investment talks with Iranian officials who included Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh.
Eni would join its European rival Total if it moves ahead with plans to invest in Iran’s oil industry. Earlier this month, Total signed a major contract with Iran for the development of Phase 11 of its South Pars field. The French energy giant will lead a consortium comprising China’s National Petroleum Company (CNPC) as well as Iran’s Petropars in the project.