MOSCOW, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Just days after reaching out to Iran, Russian energy Lukoil said it plans to start producing oil from territorial waters in the Caspian Sea.
Russian oil company Lukoil said it has started preliminary efforts to drill into the Filanovsky filed in the Russian waters of the Caspian Sea.
"We are completing the first round of equipping the Filanovsky field," Azat Shamsuarov, a vice president in charge of oil and gas production, was quoted by state-run Russian news agency Tass as saying.
The Russian report says the company aims to spend about $13.5 billion on field development through the 2040s. Finalovsky holds about 1.1 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 1.1 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas reserves, Tass reported.
Lukoil representatives met in Tehran earlier this week to discuss potential agreements to work on fields that both sides may find promising.
"We are willing to work in Iran," Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov said in a statement.
When faced with increased sanctions pressures two years ago, both sides had reviewed the potential for an oil-for-goods deal. Iran at the time was cleared to export around 1 million barrels of oil per day and the swap had the potential to allow for an additional 500,000 bpd.
In August, Iranian authorities began preliminary talks with littoral countries to the Caspian Sea to start oil swaps, which were halted with Iran's Caspian neighbors in 2012.
Iranian and Russian interests have aligned in the military effort to stem the tide of civil war in Syria, with Russian warplanes leaving from Iranian facilities last month. Negar Kabiri, an envoy for Iranian business interests in Russia, said monetary transactions between the two countries were imminent.