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Friday, May 29, 2009

Alekperov to talk over West Qurna-2

05-27-2009 - Upstream OnLine - Lukoil boss Vagit Alekperov is set to visit Baghdad for talks about a contract to develop the West Qurna-2 oilfield, according to reports. Lukoil was involved in the development of the first phase of West Qurna and signed a contract with the Saddam Hussein regime to develop the second stage, but the deal was frozen in 2002. Last year, Iraq and Lukoil agreed to establish a working group to amend the original contract on West Qurna-2. "I plan a visit to Baghdad to continue the dialogue," Alekperov told Russian news agency RIA Novosti. "I hope we reach an understanding and that the conditions including the company in the project are mutually acceptable." West Qurna-2's proven recoverable reserves have been estimated at around 6 billion barrels of oil. Under the terms of the contract, output could amount to 4.8 billion barrels of oil and 56.4 billion cubic metres of associated gas. Investment in the project could reach $4 billion, a Dow Jones report said. Ali Hussein Balo, chairman of the oil and gas committee of the Iraqi parliament, earlier said in an interview with RIA Novosti that Lukoil would have an opportunity to renew the contract. Baghdad is also discussing the West Qurna-2 oilfield with Chevron and Total. However, analysts have said Iraq is likely to resume work at West Qurna-2 with Lukoil after Russia recently wrote off the bulk of the country's debt of around $12 billion.

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