MOSCOW, March 9 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Lukoil will try to reopen an oil contract this week with Iraq that was signed under Saddam Hussein, the Financial Times reports.
Lukoil head Vagit Alekperov said he plans to fly to Baghdad to try and resurrect the West Qurnah project the company originally arranged with Saddam Hussein. The project was stalled by international sanctions and regime change. Lukoil has maintained the West Qurnah agreement, which it signed in 1997, was legally binding.
Sunday, Alekperov signed a 40-year Saudi Arabian gas contract to develop an area near Ghawar, the world's largest oil field. Lukoil will own 80 percent of the joint venture, Lukoil Saudi Arabia Energy. Saudi oil group Aramco holds the other 20 percent. Lukoil plans to invest up to $3 billion in the project and $215 million over the next five years, Alekperov said.
Lukoil has operations in Kazakhstan, has bought several foreign businesses including U.S. petroleum chain Getty, and is looking to expand further into the Middle East.