Russian oil company Lukoil has commenced drilling of new production wells at West Qurna-2 field as part of the second development phase.

The company has so far concluded contracts to drill 57 production wells, including 54 wells at Mishrif formation and 3 wells at Yamama formation.

The drilling campaign will ramp up production at West Qurna-2 from the current level of 400 thousand barrels per day to 480 thousand barrels per day in 2020.

To deliver the project Lukoil uses an approach to cluster drilling which envisages erection of two drilling rigs at one well pad.

This approach is new for Iraq and will provide for significant field development speed up and production growth within the shortest time.

Over five hundred Iraqis, residing in proximity to West Qurna-2 field, will be employed for the drilling campaign.

(Source: Lukoil)

By John Lee.
Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi has received the Russian President’s Special Envoy to the Middle East and Africa, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia and his accompanying delegation, Mr. Mikhail Bogdanov, who conveyed the greetings of the Russian President and the Russian Prime Minister to His Excellency, renewing the support of the Russian leadership for the Iraqi government and expressing the desire to develop relations between the two countries in all fields.

His Excellency Prime Minister expressed his pride in the relations between the two countries and peoples, commending Russia’s support for Iraq, confirming Iraq’s keenness to expand relations of cooperation in the economic, investment fields and the development of oil and gas fields.

His Excellency praised the Russian role and its balanced relations, which contribute to strengthening security and stability efforts in the region.

They discussed the holding of the next session of the Iraqi-Russian Joint Governmental Committee and the developments in the region.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Yixi Solomatin, Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yuri Shafranik, President of the Russian Federation of Oil and Gas Producers, Mr. Guse Gochetel, Director General of Soyuz Naft Gas, and Maxime Maximov, Russian Ambassador to Iraq.

Also, the meeting attended by Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban, Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Nizar Al-Khairallah, the Iraqi Ambassador in Moscow Mr. Haider al-Athari, and a number of advisers.

(Source: Media Office of the Prime Minister)

By John Lee.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Moscow is very interested in increasing trade, economic and investment ties with Iraq.

Following a meeting on Wednesday with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim, he said:

In the field of investment, especially in the hydrocarbon sector, there is a very good result. Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, SoyuzNefteGaz are already working, Rosneft is interested in projects in Iraq. The total investment in this industry has already exceeded $ 10 billion.

“We want to promote projects in other areas. Today we talked about electricity, agriculture, industry, transport – all this will be considered in the context of preparations for the next meeting of the Russian-Iraqi Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation.

He added that about 4 thousand Iraqi citizens are currently studying in universities of the Russian Federation, while dozens of diplomats from Iraq take part in special training courses at the Diplomatic Academy at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

(Source: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

By John Lee.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Moscow is very interested in increasing trade, economic and investment ties with Iraq.

Following a meeting on Wednesday with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim, he said:

In the field of investment, especially in the hydrocarbon sector, there is a very good result. Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, SoyuzNefteGaz are already working, Rosneft is interested in projects in Iraq. The total investment in this industry has already exceeded $ 10 billion.

“We want to promote projects in other areas. Today we talked about electricity, agriculture, industry, transport – all this will be considered in the context of preparations for the next meeting of the Russian-Iraqi Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation.

He added that about 4 thousand Iraqi citizens are currently studying in universities of the Russian Federation, while dozens of diplomats from Iraq take part in special training courses at the Diplomatic Academy at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

(Source: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Russia’s Lukoil has successfully completed testing of the fourth well as part of Eridu field (Block 10) appraisal phase in the south of Iraq.

The testing resulted in the commercial flow of dry crude oil that proves the current geological model of Eridu field as effective. ​

Lukoil continues geological exploration at Block 10. For instance, the company plans to drill and test several appraisal wells and to complete 3D and 2D seismic surveys for Eridu field and the block’s southern and central parts, respectively.

Block 10, covering 5.8 thousand square kilometers, is located 150 kilometers west of Basra, 120 kilometers away from West Qurna-2 field.

Interests in the project: Lukoil – 60% (operator), Inpex Corporation (Japan) – 40%. The Iraqi party to the agreement is represented by the state-owned Dhi Qar Oil Company (DQOC).

(Source: Lukoil)

By John Lee.

Iraqi trade minister Mohammed Hashim has reportedly signed a deal on Thursday to import wheat and rice from the United States.

According to Reuters, the agreement covers the first half of 2019.

Meanwhile, Kurdistan 24 reports that a Russian delegation visited Baghdad this week to discuss exporting wheat to Iraq.

(Sources: Reuters, Kurdistan 24)

By  for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

Putin eyes visit to Baghdad amid growing Russian-Iraqi contacts

Lately, official Russian-Iraqi contacts have been intensifying noticeably.

On Nov. 23, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Iraqi President Barham Salih met behind closed doors within the agenda of the Mediterranean Dialogue in Rome. On Nov. 20-21, Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian deputy foreign minister and special presidential envoy for the Middle East and North Africa, met all of Iraq’s key decision-makers when he was in Baghdad. The sides agreed to further develop relations and make efforts to hold a meeting on the highest level.

Russian officials’ increased contacts with their Iraqi counterparts have become a virtual necessity as a result of the changes in Iraq’s domestic politics brought about by the latest electoral cycle. The number, level, and scale of the meetings are indeed exceptional, and all the more so considering the constant foreign trips Iraqi politicians themselves make.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

Iraq reportedly wants to allow Russian-origin wheat to be bought in its state tenders to supply the country’s massive food rationing programme.

According to Reuters, the Trade Ministry will send a delegation to Russia before the end of the year to study the suitability of its wheat for Iraq’s needs.

Iraq needs between 4.5 million and five million tonnes of wheat annually, of which about two million tonnes is imported.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Russia’s Lukoil will start production at Block 10 in 2021, according to a report from Platts.

The Chinese company Bohai has started to drill the 4th well at the block in southern Iraq.

In February 2017 Lukoil announced Iraq’s largest discovery of oil for twenty years at the Eridu field in Block 10, with recoverable reserves in excess of 2.5 billion barrels of crude.

(Source: Platts)

(Picture: Seismic Survey at Block 10)

By John Lee.

Iraqi Airways has reportedly carried 9,200 passengers between Iraq and Russia in the first 12 months of operating flights.

According to rusaviainsider.com, this consisted of 5,200 inbound to Russia and 4,000 outbound.

The majority of those passengers flew between Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport and Baghdad, with the rest flying between Vnukovo and Basra.

(Source: rusaviainsider.com)