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Russia's Lukoil to invest $4 bil in Iraqi West Qurna 2 project in 2013


Russia's largest independent oil producer Lukoil plans to invest about$4 billion on its West Qurna 2 project in southeast Iraq next year, AndreiKuzyaev, president of Lukoil Overseas, said late Tuesday.

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"This year we invest around $1 billion in the Iraqi project; in 2013, theinvestments will reach approximately $4 billion," he said at the Russian-IraqiRound Table in Moscow.

Lukoil Overseas plans to start production at West Qurna 2 in late 2013 orearly 2014 at 150,000 b/d of oil equivalent, Kuzyaev said. By the end of2014, production is expected to reach 400,000-450,000 boe/d, he said.

In February, Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov was cited as saying in a localmedia report that the company expects crude production at West Qurna 2 torise to 1.7 million b/d in 2017. But in June 2011, Lukoil had said thefield's crude output would peak at 1.8 million b/d in 2017 and remain at thelevel for 10 years.

Lukoil Overseas is continuing talks with a number of companies onselling a 30% stake in West Qurna 2, Kuzyaev told Platts on the sidelines ofthe round table Tuesday. He declined to comment on which companies were keenon its stake or when Lukoil expects to close the deal.

Lukoil increased its interest in West Qurna 2, located west of Basra, to75% in June, after acquiring a 18.75% stake in the project from Norway'sStatoil. At the time, Lukoil said it planned to attract a new partner -- withfinancial muscle and upstream experience -- to the project.

Iraq's state-owned North Oil Company controls the remaining 25% in thefield, which has estimated resources of 12.8 billion barrels.

The Russian-Iraqi Round Table hosted Iraqi government officials --including Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, foreign affairs minister HoshiyarZibari and minister of oil Abdulkareem Luaibi -- as well as Russia's deputyenergy minister Yuri Sentyurin and deputy economic development ministerAlexey Likhachev, and representatives of Russian oil and gas companies, amongothers.

--Dina Khrennikova,
--Edited by Deepa Vijiyasingam,