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Eni tries to downplay Iranian oil embargo risk (E, BNO)

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The CEO of Italian oil company Eni ( E , quote ) says Italy could cope if the European Union imposes an oil embargo on Iran as punishment for that country's pursuit of a nuclear weapons program. This is an important statement since many of Europe's most vulnerable economies like Italy -- along with Spain and Greece --- happen to be among the largest importers of Iranian crude oil.

The concern is that refineries in these countries may struggle to find enough oil to replace the amount lost due to an embargo.

CEO Paolo Scaroni says Eni refineries would be able to cope with this issue.

However, he is still worried about oil payments from Iran in the event of an embargo.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) still owes Eni nearly $2 billion in crude oil shipments in exchange for for previous work undertaken by the company in the country.

He hopes any E.U. ban on importing Iranian oil will allow Eni to accept shipments that the country has already agreed to provide.

"We feel that this will be exempt from any ban. We feel there is a difference between importing crude and receiving crude," he argues.

Scaroni added -- perhaps unnecessarily -- that of course Eni will comply with any decision by the E.U. to ban Iranian oil.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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