Russia’s second-largest oil producer, Lukoil, is looking at joint oil and gas opportunities with Saudi Aramco in Africa, the Russian firm’s president and CEO Vagit Alekperov said on Wednesday.
Lukoil and the Saudi oil giant are in good relations and constantly exploring joint opportunities in third countries, including in Africa, Alekperov said at a Russia-Africa forum today.
Lukoil has started withdrawing from a joint natural gas development project with Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, Alekperov said. The Russian company is currently transferring the project to the Kingdom and expects this transfer to be completed by the end of this year.
According to Lukoil’s boss, Saudi Aramco and the Saudi government were unable to create conditions so that the complex project could be economically developed.
This withdrawal, however, is not stopping the two companies from seeking joint opportunities elsewhere, including in Africa.
Lukoil continues to be interested in West Africa and looks to expand its presence there, Alekperov said at the forum. The Russian company is interested in a number of projects in West Africa, where new discoveries are being made every year, he added.
During the Russia-Africa forum, Lukoil expects to sign several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for potential development in Africa, Alekperov noted.
The Russian firm is also interested in expanding its presence in the Republic of Congo together with Italy’s oil and gas major Eni, the manager said.
In June this year, Lukoil signed an agreement to buy 25 percent in an oil and gas project in the Republic of Congo for US$800 million in cash. Thus, Lukoil entered in the Marine XII license covering 571 square kilometers (220 square miles) offshore the Republic of Congo. The license covers five discovered fields containing 1.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent of proved and probable (2P) reserves, according to an international independent auditor, Lukoil says. Eni operates the project with a 65-percent stake.