Thursday, 29 May 2008

Russia's Lokoil struggles to revive oil deal

Russia's Lokoil oil firm delegation came back to Baghdad and held Wednesday a meeting with Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, to revive a Saddam-era oil deal for one of Iraq's 10 super giant fields with its reserves estimated over 4 billion barrels, Hassan Hafish reports for Dow Jones Newswire

In 1997, the oil giant Lukoil struck a $3.7 billion deal with former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to drill at the West Qurna field in Basra. However, Saddam canceled the contract in 2002 the Russians hoped they would be able to revive it when Moscow wrote off most of Iraq's $12.9 billion debt.

In February, Russia agreed to write off $12 billion, or 93%, of Iraq's $12.9 billion debts to Moscow, a gesture that appeared aimed at helping Russian companies win contracts in Iraq. The two sides also signed a separate deal opening up Iraq for $4 billion in investment from Russian firms, including Lukoil.

I hope that the Russians have not been fooled!!!