LUKoil c.s. prepare to develop Iraqi oil field
Russia's leading oil company LUKoil is planning to sign a $ 3.8 bn deal with Iraq to develop a major oil field once the United Nations' sanctions are lifted. The deal to develop Iraq's Western Kurna oil field may be signed as early as next month, said Vagit Alekperov, the president of LUKoil. Along with LUKoil, which will have a 70 % stake in the project, two other Russian companies, Zarubezhneft and Mashinoimport, also are planning to take part with a 15 % stake each. The three Russian companies have been involved in buying Iraqi oil under the recent UN-monitored program. The first tanker carrying Iraqi oil bought by Russian companies left a Turkish port for Rotterdam on Jan. 10. Russia has repeatedly called for lifting the sanctions. Before the trade embargo, Russia was Baghdad's principal arms supplier and now is eager to renew economic links and to recover Iraq's $ 7 bn debt to Moscow.