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LUKoil to negotiate Venezuela projects in October

LUKoil is set to hold talks in Venezuela this month on implementing projects in the Latin American country, the head of Russia’s largest independent crude producer said Tuesday.

“A large delegation headed by [LUKoil Overseas President] Andrei Kuzyayev will go to Venezuela in October,” Vagit Alekperov said. LUKoil is putting into operation several projects in the South American country. The Russian company is completing geological prospecting of the Junin-3 block in the Orinoco heavy oil belt, and is holding talks on setting up a joint venture with the national petroleum company of Venezuela, PdVSA, for the rehabilitation of inactive oil wells. The JV is expected to be set up in 2008.

Alekperov said in August that LUKoil could sign a contract to develop heavy oil deposits in Venezuela by the end of the year. The second largest oil company worldwide by proven reserves of hydrocarbons, LUKoil accounts for about 1.3% of global oil reserves and 2.1% of world crude output. The company contributes 18% to Russia’s oil output and 18% to the country’s oil refining. LUKoil’s majority shareholder with a 67.25% share is Russia’s ING Bank (Eurasia), and US oil major ConocoPhillips has a 20% stake in the crude producer. (