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Russia's Lukoil may develop African projects with Saudi Aramco: CEO

Highlights

Lukoil looking to expand cooperation with Eni in Republic of Congo

Company budgets for $60/b oil, sees African projects commercially viable at this price

Sochi — Russian crude producer Lukoil is in talks with Saudi Aramco on potential joint projects outside Russia and Saudi Arabia, including some in Africa, CEO Vagit Alekperov said Wednesday on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi.

"We are constantly discussing joint opportunities with them, including their interest in third countries, in Africa, but this is still at the stage of studying and talks," Alekperov told reporters.

He added that the companies are not currently in talks over cooperation in Uzbekistan.

Alekperov said that Lukoil is also looking to increase its cooperation with Eni in the Republic of Congo.

Earlier this year Lukoil acquired a 25% stake in the Marine XII license offshore the Republic of Congo, on which Eni is operator and holds a 65% stake. State-owned company Societe Nationale des Petroles du Congo also holds a 10% interest in the project.

Alekperov added that the company assumes an oil price of around $60/b in its budget and other economic parameters, and that African projects that the company is looking into are commercially viable at this price.

Related analysis: Russia looks to Africa to broaden its global energy influence

Lukoil is planning to sign new agreements with African partners during the summit, Alekperov said.

"These are, as a rule, offshore projects, plus a number of African countries asked us to study and give possible comments on downstream," he said.

Finally he said Lukoil was not in talks with Brazil's Petrobras over a stake in two production projects in Nigeria. Earlier this month the Nigerian Petroleum Ministry indicated that Lukoil was interested in taking over Petrobras' stakes.

-- Rosemary Griffin, rosemary.griffin@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@spglobal.com