Image courtesy of Saipem.

Italian services firm Saipem said Tuesday that it signed a memorandum of understanding concerning potential cooperation on major projects in Iran.

The MoU was signed with the Parsian Oil & Gas Development Company in the presence of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani and the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during Rouhani’s first official visit to Italy.

The MoU “envisages discussions aimed at Saipem’s potential cooperation in revamping and upgrading the Pars Shiraz and Tabriz refineries,” Saipem said.

According to A Barrel Full, the Pars Shiraz refinery has a capacity of 40,000 barrels per day while the Tabriz refinery has a daily capacity of 115,000 barrels.

The potential value of the memorandum has not been disclosed.

President Rouhani, who is accompanied by over 100 Iranian business leaders and ministers, arrived in Italy on Monday for a two day visit and will head to France later this week.

The visits are part of a broader effort to attract investment and new projects from Western firms as Iran looks to increase crude exports now that sanctions have been lifted.

Officials in Rome told Reuters earlier this week that Iran may sign several deals with Italian firms worth up to $18.7 billion during the visit.

Iran is hoping to quickly boost its crude output by about 500,000 barrels per day but it’s unclear how long it will take the country to return to pre-sanction production levels.

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

News of the memorandum came as rights in a Saipem cash call began trading.

The company will issue a maximum of about 9.66 billion new ordinary shares with no par value at a 37 percent discount.

The offer will boost the number of Saipem shares to just over 10.1 billion, Reuters said.


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