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Russia's Lukoil 'happy' to resume talks on Iranian projects once US sanctions lifted

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Russia's Lukoil would be "happy" to return to talks on its Iranian oil projects, which were at an advanced stage, once US sanctions on the Middle Eastern country are lifted, CEO Vagit Alekperov said June 3.

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Lukoil was in talks with Iran to develop the Ab Teymour and Mansouri oil fields, but had to put plans on hold in late 2018 after the US pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the country's oil industry.

"We were in an advanced stage and have almost all documents on the Mansouri field ready," Alekperov told reporters on the sidelines of the St Petersburg economic forum, as quoted by Prime news agency.

"If restrictions are lifted, we would we happy to resume negotiations and implementation of this project," he added.

The Mansouri oil field, in the southern Khuzestan province, has an estimated 3.1 billion barrels of oil in place.

Earlier on June 3, Russia's energy minister Nikolay Shulginov met with his Iranian counterpart Reza Ardakanian on the sidelines of the forum to discuss bilateral cooperation and joint investments, as well as the situation in the global energy market.

Separately, Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak estimated that Iran could raise its oil output by about 1.5 million b/d, which "could start entering the global market as early as this summer, given the nuclear deal is struck soon."

US , Iranian and European negotiators are expected to meet next week for the sixth round of indirect talks in Vienna as they seek to reach a deal on sanctions relief before Iran's presidential election on June 18.

Platts Analytics estimates that the US sanctions relief for Iran could bring about 1.05 million b/d of Iranian crude supply into the market in the next six months, from 2.43 million b/d of crude it produced in April.