Lukoil: Plans to Begin Developing Iraqi Field Soon

Russia-based Lukoil plans to begin developing oil and natural gas production at the West Qurna field in Iraq soon, making it the first big international energy group to develop a major field in the country since the U.S. invasion in 2003, CEO Vagit Alekperov said today.

Lukoil will be able to develop the field two to three times more quickly than any other company and will begin work when the Iraqi Parliament passes the hydrocarbon law, which it aims to do by the end of next month, according to Alekperov. "We are ready to move really fast. The situation in south Iraq is pretty stable, and we have no problem starting operations right after the passage of the hydrocarbon law and once we have the necessary approvals," he said.

Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin supports Lukoil's planned work in Iraq. "As far as Lukoil is concerned, it is a major company that is expanding its reach in many countries of the world. ... The intentions of the company to expand its presence in Iraq is supported in Russia," he said.

West Qurna is believed to hold as many as 11 billion to 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves and has a potential to produce as many as 1 million barrels per day, making it one of the world's biggest fields (Carola Hoyos, Financial Times [subscription required], April 24).

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