Lukoil Head in Iraq to Discuss Reviving $3.7B Oil Deal

Dow Jones Newswires

AMMAN (Dow Jones Newswires), Jun. 17, 2009

The head of OAO Lukoil Holdings, Russia's second-largest oil firm, met Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Wednesday and discussed reviving a multi-billion-dollar deal to develop one of Iraq's largest oil fields, an Iraqi government statement said.

"We welcome Russian companies to work in Iraq and above all Lukoil because it is very well qualified," al-Maliki told Lukoil president Vagit Alekperov.

Lukoil hopes to be able to regain the $3.7 billion deal it struck with former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 1997 to drill at the West Qurna-2 field, which is among the most promising in Iraq, with an estimated reserve capacity of over 4 billion barrels of oil. Saddam severed the contract in 2002, however.

Alekperov also told Maliki that Lukoil would submit bids for the first bidding round due to be held June 29 and 30, the statement said.

The oil ministry is planning to hold an auction at the end of June to award six giant oil fields and two gas fields to international companies for the first time in 30 years.  

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