By Ria Novosti
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom, signed contracts on two projects on oil trading operations in Iraq, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the contacts, Gazprom Neft will explore the oil fields in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, one of the most prosperous in Iraq.
“After carrying out a thorough analysis of the projects’ economic characteristics and having found them highly efficient and also taking into consideration the synergy effect of the work at the sites, Gazprom Neft considered Kurdistan a prosperous territory for further geological study and the oil fiels’ exploration,” the company’s statement reads quoting Deputy General Director Vadim Yakovlev as saying.
The Kurdistan Regional Government claims the right to negotiate its own contracts with foreign oil companies, offering production-sharing deals that many companies consider more attractive than those offered by Baghdad.
In early February, Yakovlev said that Gazprom Neft planned to sell 2.5 million tons of oil per year in Iraq.
The Russian company also acts as an operator of Iraq’s Badra deposit with a 30-percent stake in the project. Other participants include South Korea’s Kogas with 22.5 percent, Malaysia’s Petronas with 15 percent and Iraq’s state-owned Oil Exploration Company with 25 percent in the project.
Badra’s reserves are estimated at about three billion barrels of oil. The production launch is scheduled for 2013 to reach 170,000 barrels per day or about 8.5 million tons per year by 2017 and maintain this level for seven years.