Royal Dutch Shell has signed a provisional agreement to develop oil and gas fields in Iran, a move that could signal energy companies will not be deterred from doing business with the Islamic Republic despite uncertainty whether the US President Elect, Trump administration will scrap a nuclear deal, WKSU informed.

According to National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) Deputy Director, Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, Shell signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to evaluate the Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields near the Iraqi border, and the Kish gas deposit in the Persian Gulf, Bloomberg reported.

This comes as international oil companies re-established contact with Iran since sanctions were lifted in January. However, no final contracts to develop oil fields have yet been signed. Total SA reached a non-binding $4.8b agreement in November to develop a natural gas field.

Iran has the fourth-largest oil reserves in the world and is now producing more than 3.5m b/d despite its aging infrastructure.