Eni's CEO First To Meet With Iran Oil Minister
VIENNA, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Paolo Scaroni of Italy's Eni met with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on Thursday, the first Western oil CEO to do so publicly with the minister since last month's interim nuclear deal.
The meeting, in the minister's Vienna hotel suite following Wednesday's OPEC talks, came after Zanganeh named Eni as one of seven Western companies he wanted to invest in Iran's energy sector if international sanctions are lifted.
The talks also covered debts Eni is owed by Iran for previous investment and future terms for foreign companies to help revive Iran's oil and gas industry, Scaroni told reporters after the meeting.
"We had a fairly long and very warm meeting with the minister, who is a person we know very well," he said. Zanganeh was reappointed oil minister after an eight-year break by new reformist President Hassan Rouhani.
"We have been discussing potential new activities of Eni in Iran - of course all this is subject to lifting of the sanctions," Scaroni said. "This is the key issue."
He said new investment would probably involve oil and gas projects.
Iranian oil production has fallen more than a million barrels a day since oil trade, shipping insurance and banking sanctions were imposed last year to pressure it to stop nuclear enrichment.
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