MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s largest privately-owned oil company LUKOIL made its first shipment of 1 billion barrels of oil from the West Qurna-2 field in southern Iraq, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
"The project development goes according to the schedule, all production plans and contract obligations are fulfilled by LUKOIL in full volume," the company said.
The oil carrier Sea Triumph left the Iraqi port city of Basra for Augusta, Sicily. The oil will then be transported to ISAB, a LUKOIL-owned refinery in Priolo, the statement said.
LUKOIL signed a 20-year contract in 2010 to develop West Qurna-2 in Basra Province, which has recoverable reserves of about 14 billion barrels of oil. LUKOIL holds a 75-percent stake in the project, with the rest in the hands of the Iraqi state’s North Oil Company.
West Qurna-2 is one of the largest oil fields in the world with a crude output of 280,000 barrels per day. It was discovered in 1973 and explored by Soviet geologists in 1970s and 1980s using 2D seismic acquisition and exploration drilling technologies.
"The West Qurna-2 project is being realized within the framework of the pre-planned conditions, as, in fact, are all other upstream projects of LUKOIL, in Africa and Latin America in particular," LUKOIL spokesman Vitaly Matushkin told RIA Novosti.
The company sees the situation in Iraq as generally stable and predictable, Matushkin said.