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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 13 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Russia's LUKoil company finds it very promising to participate in the implementation of the Western Qurna-2 project in Iraq, LUKoil Vice-President Leonid Fedun said at a press-conference Tuesday. He however denied any comments on relevant talks with the Iraqi side. "We won't comment on the situation before Alekperov's visit to Iraq," said Fedun.

    Vagit Alekperov, the president of the LUKoil public company, negotiated last December with Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the president of Iraq's interim Governing Council, the resumption of an oilfield development project in Western Qurna.

    The company's management has welcomed this meeting as a start from implementing its contract in Iraq.

    An agreement on the development of Western Qurna-2 deposits on production-sharing agreement terms was signed in March 1997. The contract is valid for 23 years and can be extended for another five years. The verified deposits are estimated at six barrels of oil.

    The sanctions introduced against Iraq after the Persian Gulf war prevented Russian companies from implementing oil projects in Iraq.

    Meanwhile, the president of Iraq's interim governing council, Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, confirmed in a RIA interview last December that Russia could participate in an Iraq rehabilitation tender on a par with other countries "despite the statement by the American Administration that the process could involve only countries that a part of the coalition together with the United States."

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