LUKoil will invest $4.5 billion in Iraq's West Qurna-2 within the next three to five years, the head of Russia's largest independent crude producer said on Thursday.
Vagit Alekperov said a 20-year contract for the Iraqi oil project LUKoil won on December 12 with an option to be extended for another five years would be signed in late January.
He said his company had already invested some $300 million in start-up work and the search for contractors, and that LUKoil experts would start working in Iraq next year.
"Today we [LUKoil] produce some 97 million tons (713 mln bbl) of oil from 26,000 wells, and West Qurna-2 will yield 95 million tons (698 mln bbl) for 13 years and there will be just 380 oil wells," Alekperov said.
The businessman said the development of West Qurna-2 would position LUKoil among global giants.
LUKoil will develop the 12.88 billion-barrel West Qurna-2 field in the Basra province as a consortium with StatoilHydro. The Russian company holds an 85% stake in the consortium, and the Norwegian oil producer has 15%. They aim to bring production to 1.8 million barrels per day.
LUKoil was involved in the development of the first phase of West Qurna and signed a contract with the Saddam Hussein regime to develop the second stage, but the deal was frozen in 2002.
MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti)