Iraq and Russia vowed Wednesday to boost cooperation in the oil sector, the official INA news agency reported at the end of three-day visit to Baghdad by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Gavrin.
"The two sides agreed to boost cooperation in the oil sector and implement the existing accords between the two countries," INA said.
Gavrin, who headed a 27-strong delegation that includes representatives from the Russian oil companies Tranz Gaz and Zarubezhneft, flew out of Baghdad Wednesday.
Gavrin held talks with Iraq's Oil Minister Amer Rashid, Industry and Mining Minister Adnan Abdul Mejid and Agriculture Minister Abdul Ilah Abdul Hamid on boosting industrial and agricultural cooperation with Iraq.
In 1997, Lukoil and two other Russian companies, Zarubezhneft and Mashinoimport, signed an accord with Iraq's oil ministry on developing Iraq's West Qurna oil field.
However, Lukoil has been able to carry out only a limited amount of work in Iraq so far, with the UN-imposed sanctions crippling Iraq's oil industry.
"It is premature to speak (of this agreement). It will come up in our talks and we will take stock at the end of the visit," Gavrin said.
The West Qurna agreement was the first to be signed between Iraq and an international oil firm since the United Nations imposed sanctions on Iraq in 1990 following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
The 23-year deal, worth $3.5 billion, covers the development of the 7.8 bllion barrels of proven reserves in the Mishrif and Yamamah formations in the north of West Qurna.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )