23 November 2014, MOSCOW – Russia’s second-largest oil company, privately controlled Lukoil, said on Friday it planned to invest in Nigeria with U.S. oil major Chevron Corp., part of its push to seek opportunities away from Russia’s state-dominated oil sector.
“We have decided to enter a joint block with Chevron in a project in Nigeria, which we consider to be promising,” Chief Executive Vagit Alekperov told reporters in Moscow.
He declined to name the project and provided no detail. According to Chevron’s website, the Aparo field and the third-party-owned Bonga SW Field in Nigeria share a common geologic structure. It plans joint development for both.
Lukoil, controlled by Alekperov and his deputy, Leonid Fedun, has been expanding its operations overseas. Making that harder, however, the United States put Lukoil and some other Russian oil firms on a sanctions list in September, over Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
That effectively froze access to foreign technology and banned Western firms from cooperating in the Arctic, shale or deep-water drilling. Lukoil hopes to double its oil output outside of Russia thanks to its most ambitious project, West Qurna-2, in Iraq. It also works in Western Africa.
Alekperov also said Lukoil expects dividend payments next year to be at the same level as in 2014, while its investment programme will be cut by $2 billion to $14 billion. Major oil companies have trimmed spending as oil prices drop.
*Olesya Astakhova; Polina Devitt & Vladimir Soldatkin; Alexander Winning & Clara Ferreira Marques – Reuters