Statoil to sell its Iraqi West Qurna stake to Lukoil

Statoil_LukoilIraq has approved the sale by Statoil of its minority stake in Iraq West Qurna phase-2 oil field to Russia's Lukoil, according to press reports.

"Statoil reached an agreement with Lukoil to sell its stake in West Qurna-2 and Iraq's Oil Ministry approved the deal," Reuters reported an Iraqi oil industry source as saying.

The stakes

Currently, Statoil has a 18.75 per cent stake in the West Qurna Phase-2 field and Lukoil holds 56.25 per cent. The sale gives the Russian oil firm a 75 per cent stake and the Iraqi state oil company the remaining 25 per cent.

Abandons lucrative deal

The deal makes Statoil the first big Western oil firm to abandon one of the lucrative oil deals offered by Iraq in recent years.

Statoil confirmed mid-week that it was in talks to sell its stake to Lukoil. "We can confirm the information that Lukoil and the Iraqi officials have communicated," Statoil spokesman Bard Glad Pedersen told Dow Jones Newswires.

Statoil and Lukoil were awarded a 20-year service contract for West Qurna Phase-2 in Iraq's second licensing round held in December 2009. The companies promised to get the southern field pumping at a rate of 1.8mn barrels a day for payment USS $1.15 a barrel.

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