Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Malaki confirmed his government’s appreciation for the participation of Russian companies in the development of his nation’s oil sector through oil exploration and the rehabilitation of oilfields and refineries throughout Iraq at June 18 a reception for visiting Lukoil CEO Wahid Kabirov.
Al-Malaki welcomed all international companies wishing to participate in investment projects. He stated, "We would like to attract companies of Lukoil’s calibre for their high level of experience and we look forward to expanding cooperation in the area of oilfield development."
Kabirov affirmed that his company seeks to win oil contracts in Iraq and that it is willing to support this important sector by providing expertise and technical means. He also announced Lukoil’s participation in the next licencing round that the Iraqi Oil Ministry will open by the end of this month.
The Russian company's visit follows a similar visit to Baghdad by Christophe de Margerie, head of the French firm Total, who confirmed his company's plans to participate in the upcoming Oil Ministry bidding round.
Iraq has opened the door for investment by international oil companies to increase its oil production, which remains the main source of the country's revenue. To this end, Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh recently announced the government's commitment to the first round of competition for oil and gas field projects.
The Russian company Lukoil is competing with the U.S. firm Chevron, the French firm Total and 29 other oil companies to win contracts in six Iraqi oilfields and two gas fields.
Seven firms from North America, 11 from Asia, nine from Europe, two from Australia and two from Russia remain in the competition, after the withdrawal of four other competing firms.
The Oil Ministry is seeking to implement national plans and programmes through the redevelopment of 78 oil and gas fields, of which only 15 are currently productive. Iraq has the third largest confirmed oil reserves in the world after Russia and Iran, with an estimated volume up to 115 billion barrels.
Sources: Statement by the Prime Minister's Office / Agence France-Presse /