Russian oil giants sign drilling contracts with Iraq
Russia’s Tatneft and Zaroubejneft oil firms have recently signed drilling contracts with the government of Iraq. The wells will be drilled in the north and south of the country, reported Al-Zawra. The deals follow a comprehensive $40-billion economic pact struck between the two nations in August, in an effort to safeguard existing Russian interests in Iraq.
Tatneft will drill 15 wells in the region of Basra, 5,550 kilometers south of Baghdad and state-owned Zaroubejneft will drill 45 wells in Kirkuk, 250 kilometers north of the capital.
Heavily indebted to Russia, Iraq has completed some $1.5 billion contracts with several Russian petroleum companies and assigned to them the rights to sell 40 percent of Iraq's crude on world markets, once the restrictions of current sanctions are removed.
In recent years, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly began authorizing foreign oil companies to resume international investment initiatives in Iraq’s oil sector. Large-scale contracts have already been signed with petroleum giants from China, France and Russia to extract Iraqi oil as soon as UN sanctions are lifted.
Home to one of the world's largest crude reserves, Iraq has been prohibited from exporting at capacity since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. A longstanding ally of Iraq and a strategic trading partner, Russia has forcedly proclaimed its opposition to a military campaign against Iraq and its support for lifting the UN’s sanctions, imposed by the Security Council. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)