ENI said on its Web site that part of the research was focused on so-called nano-sorbents, microscopic materials that target and capture the pollutants associated with hydrocarbons.
"The recent events in the Gulf of Mexico underscored the need for innovative drilling technologies and safety systems," the company said.
Additional research focuses on ways to prevent a blow out like the one that led to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In a separate initiative earlier this year, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell formed the Marine Well Containment Co. in response to the oil spill. A well-containment system will be designed by the company for water depths of up to 10,000 feet and have the ability to contain 100,000 barrels of oil per day.