MOSCOW, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- LUKoil, the largest oil firm in Russia, petitioned the Russian Development Bank for a $1.8 billion loan to refinance its foreign debts, officials said.
Vagit Alekperov, the chief executive officer of LUKoil, said his firm was in negotiations with the bank because the terms of the loan were too high, the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant said Friday.
Alekperov in October led a chorus of voices in the Russian energy sector calling on the bank to help pay off foreign debts and some infrastructure investments. At the time he said LUKoil might need as much as $5 billion.
The Russian economy relies heavily on the energy sector. Crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday was below $60 per barrel, down from July highs of $147. Alekperov told RIA Novosti that the decline in world energy prices prompted his firm to consider halving its investments if oil falls toward $45 per barrel.
"We have worked out three pricing scenarios: at $80 per barrel, at $65, and the third, crisis price of $45 per barrel," he said, noting each scenario equated to $2 billion in investments.
LUKoil said the cuts would come from refining projects, and not development of new fields, particularly those in Siberia and the Caspian Sea.
Meanwhile, Moscow said it had granted permission to the diamond giant DeBeers to purchase a 49.99 percent stake in Arkhangelskgeoldobycha, a diamond producer owned by LUKoil.