Italy's Eni says it has no material exposure to Iran

FILE PHOTO: The logo of oil company Eni is pictured at San Donato Milanese near Milan February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Eni has no material exposure to Iran and so will not be affected by sanctions announced by the U.S. administration, a spokesman for the Italian oil major said on Tuesday.

The major has recouped all outstanding payments owed for previous investments in Iran’s upstream and has only an oil supply contract outstanding for the purchase of 2 million barrels of oil per month, the spokesman said. “The contract... will expire by the end of the year,” he said in emailed comments.

The United States has threatened to impose secondary sanctions on European companies doing business with Iran after withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

The European Union, once Iran’s biggest oil importer, is looking for ways to save the nuclear accord and safeguard investments made by European companies.

But the risk of running foul of sanctions and losing access to the U.S. financial system has caused many companies to reassess their plans.

In May, French oil major Total announced it might pull out of its investment in Iran’s South Pars gas field if it cannot secure a waiver from the US government. Eni said that evaluations it had carried out so far in regard to its limited activities in Iran did not point to any need to request specific waivers. In any event such activities would only be carried out to the extent sanctions allow them, the spokesman said.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Edmund Blair