National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has signed a short-term contract with Eni to sell crude, announced an Iranian official on Monday, as it seeks to revive the agreement it had with the Italian oil major prior to the sanctions.
"The NIOC has sold one cargo of crude oil to this Italian company," Mohsen Qamsari, NIOC's director for international affairs was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
He added that negotiations were underway to sign a long term deal. "If the deal is signed, we are ready to sell 100,000 barrels of crude oil to Eni," Qamsari said.
He added a contract has also been signed with Italy's Saras on the sale of crude oil.
Eni was one of the main buyers of Iranian oil prior to the sanctions on Iran. The country ended years of economic isolation in January when world powers lifted sanctions in return for Tehran complying with a deal to curb its nuclear ambitions.
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said in August said the company is in advanced talks with Iran for a barter deal that may be finalised the year end.
“We’ve always been there, we have a good relationships,”Descalzi said to Bloomberg TV. “We are in advanced discussions, and possible finalisation before the end of the year but I am not in the any position now to mention any barter deal.”
In November, the CEO said Eni would start working again in Iran when it has been repaid investments previously made, reported Reuters. "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 have recouped all our money," Descalzi said.
Iran for years has been using oil to pay back Eni for decade-old deals. 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 involved 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.