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LUKoil to take part in Iraqi tenders

RIA Novosti

25/03/2008 16:32 MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) - LUKoil is to take part in Iraqi tenders for new oil and gas projects, Russia's largest independent oil producer said in a statement on Tuesday following a visit to Iraq by its CEO, Vagit Alekperov.

"LUKoil Overseas [a 100% subsidiary of LUKoil] will take part in tenders for new projects to be announced by the Iraqi government after it has adopted a new law on oil," the company said in a news release.

Iraq and LUKoil also agreed to set up a working group to update a contract to develop Iraq's largest oil field, West Qurna-2. Alekperov discussed the revival of the contract in Baghdad on Monday.

The contract to develop the second leg of the oil field was initially signed on March 21, 1997, under the reign of Saddam Hussein. LUKoil operated the first phase of West Qurna and is looking to develop West Qurna-2, located in southern Iraq. The deal for both phases was signed for 23 years, but frozen in 2002.

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 meters of associated gas. Investment in the project could reach $4 billion.

Baghdad is also discussing the West Qurna-2 oil field with Chevron and Total. However, analysts say that 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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