Eni CEO: Iran still owes us $2 billion in oil

Paolo Scaroni hopes debt will be exempt from impending EU sanctions

Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni and Mahmoud Jibril, prime minister of the Libyan rebel council, in August. GETTY IMAGES
Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni and Mahmoud Jibril, prime minister of the Libyan rebel council, in August. GETTY IMAGES

Paolo Scaroni, CEO of Eni, says Iran owes the company $2 billion in oil and he hopes the debt will be exempted from a round of sanctions promoted by members of the EU.

Speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Scaroni said Eni can manage the loss of ongoing crude revenue from Iran. "We are more concerned about the payments in crude that NIOC is paying to us," he said, according to a Reuters report. "We still have to cash some dollars but we think that will be exempt from a ban."

Meanwhile, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah el-Badri told journalists at the WPC that the EU would struggle to replace Iranian oil if an embargo was agreed.

“Europe is facing difficulties with sovereign debt and unemployment, so to cut 865,000 barrels a day immediately, I think it will be a problem and I advise against it,” Badri said, according to a Bloomberg report.

The Eu is closing in on agreement on a sanctions round that would include an oil embargo. Bloomerg reports that EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger yesterday signaled the bloc may have reached an agreement whether to ban oil imports from Iran.

The biggest proponents of sanctions are France and the UK, after the latter's embassy was stormed by a mob in what many see as a state-orchestrated antagonist stunt.

Oil analysts have doubted the efficacy of an EU ban on Iranian oil, as Iran may simply sell to China and other Asian countries at distressed prices, weakinging the position of EU refineries and driving up the price of Saudi and Urals crude.

 

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