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Iran, Italy Sign Up Giant Oil, Gas Agreement, 13 MoUs

(Tuesday, January 26, 2016) 10:42

TEHRAN, Jan. 26 (Shana) – Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum has signed a major agreement with Italy’s Saipem to cooperate in a multi-billion euro project, reports from Rome said.

The Italian oil services group Saipem announced that the MoU signed with the Parsian Oil & Gas Development Company includes the revamping and upgrading of the Pars Shiraz and Tabriz refineries in Iran, according to the company’s website.

“In the presence of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, and the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, Saipem has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning potential cooperation on major projects in Iran,” said a media release.

“The MoU, signed with the Parsian Oil & Gas Development Company, envisages discussions aimed at Saipem’s potential cooperation in revamping and upgrading the Pars Shiraz and Tabriz refineries,” it read.

The deal was reached along 13 other agreements between the two countries on the first-day of the on-going visit of President Hassan Rouhani to Italy on Monday evening following his meetings with Italian president and prime minister.

Prior to the signing ceremony, unconfirmed media reports also indicated that a pipeline contract worth between 3.6-4.6 billion euros for Saipem, a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni owning approximately 43% of Saipem's shares, was among the deals. 

Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh and other top-ranking officials as well as business people are accompanying President Rouhani in the visit. 

The four-day state visit, the first by an Iranian head of state after implementation of the nuclear Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA), will also take Rouhani and his entourage to Paris for expansion of bilateral ties with European countries after removal of anti-Iran sanctions.

Negotiations will reportedly focus on bilateral relations as well as regional developments as Iranian and European statesmen in Rome and Paris are expected to confer and sign agreements and contracts on energy, economic, industrial and trade relations.

In recent months, Zangeneh has been receiving numerous delegations headed by European counterparts, CEOs, business people and industrialists including in the field of energy ENI and Total who expressed their interest to cooperate in Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemical industry.

The meetings took place following the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers last summer in Vienna.