Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. Image courtesy of President of the Russian Federation/Wikimedia Commons.

Italy’s Saipem is reportedly preparing to sign a multi-billion dollar pipeline deal with Iran as the country prepares to ramp up oil exports.

A source close to the matter told Reuters that Saipem is getting ready to sign a pipeline contract that could be worth between $4 billion to $5 billion.

The pipeline covered in the deal may be up to 1,242 miles long, Reuters said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is accompanied by over 100 Iranian business leaders and ministers, arrived in Italy on Monday for a two day visit.

Officials in Rome told Reuters that Iran may sign a slew of deals with Italian firms worth up to $18.7 billion during the visit.

Saipem has not commented on the matter yet.

Iranian officials are eager to attract investment and new energy projects now that Western sanctions placing limits on Western investment and oil exports were lifted.

In July, Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh told Reuters that Iran is hoping to attract as much as $185 billion in new energy projects by 2020.

While the country has said it wants to boost crude output by 500,000 in the near term analysts remain divided on how long a full production ramp up will take.

According to Platts, Iran produced an estimated 2.89 million barrels of crude per day in December, up 10,000 bpd from November.

Italy’s Eni finalized the sale of a 12.5 percent stake in Saipem on Monday to Fondo Strategico Italiano for about $501 million.


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