Italian Eni signed an agreement with Iran on June 20 for feasibility studies to develop an oil field and a gas field, signaling a possible return to Iran’s upstream sector, reported Reuters.

Eni has six months to present the results of its studies.

The agreement was signed in Tehran for studies on the Kish gas field and the third phase of the Darkhovin oil field in southern Iran, according to Rigzone News.

Eni’s Spokesman told media, “The agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) does not include any commitment to invest.” The spokesman added, “The agreement sets out conditions for recouping outstanding payments of $280m still owed Eni for previous investments.”

Eni, which entered Iran in the 1950s, was involved in the development of the Darkhovin field and the offshore South Pars gas field before US-led sanctions stopped oil majors investing.

Eni was given a special dispensation to recoup investments in the country by taking Iranian oil by way of payment.