BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The head of Russia’s second-largest oil firm, LUKOIL, will meet Iraq’s oil minister on Monday to discuss reviving a multi-billion-dollar deal to develop one of Iraq’s largest oilfields.
Lukoil president Vagit Alekperov and Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Alexander Sultanov, are in Baghdad to meet Iraq’s political leaders to boost foreign investment in the country. Moscow last month wrote off most of Iraq’s $12.9 billion debt to Russia.
“The chief of Lukoil will discuss with the Iraqi oil ministry the former oil contracts which have problems, one of which is the contract for West Qurna (oilfield),” Hoshiyar Zebari, Iraq’s foreign minister, told reporters.
“This contract, according to the Iraqi government, is cancelled.”
Lukoil hopes to be able to regain its $3.7 billion Saddam Hussein-era West Qurna deal to tap one of Iraq’s biggest oil deposits.
But Baghdad is also in discussions with Chevron and Total to develop the same fields.
“We suggested to them they had better to discuss this issue directly with the oil ministry to reach a satisfactory compromise for both sides and not to be the prisoners of the past,” Zebari said.
Last month Russia signed a deal with Baghdad that it said would open up Iraq for $4 billion in investment from Russian companies.