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Russian oil boss plans Iraqi visit

Lukoil serves as operator at Iraq's West Qurna field.

By Daniel J. Graeber

MOSCOW, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The head of Russian oil company Lukoil announced plans Wednesday to visit Iraq to discuss expanding operations in the country.

"I will be in Baghdad on Oct. 13 to meet the oil minister," Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov said. "I hope, we will continue our talks on the expansion of our operations in Iraq."

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First oil was produced from West Qurna-2, located in southern Iraq, in March. Lukoil, Russia's largest private oil company, signed a contract revision in June to build two 75-mile pipelines and associated infrastructure.

The company said West Qurna is producing more than 280,000 barrels of oil per day. In August, the company shipped its first batch of one million barrels from the field from the southern Iraqi port city of Basra.

The shipment came as Iraq struggles to control an uptick in violence, though most of that is centered in the northwest and Kurdish parts of the country.

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