Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Lukoil said total oil production for the second quarter was slightly lower, in part because of a reduction from operations in Iraq.
One of Russia's largest energy companies, Lukoil said second quarter production of crude oil was around 156 million barrels, a decline of about a half percent from the first quarter. Russian oil production for the period was 148 million barrels, a decline of about 0.3 percent. Its share of oil from the West Qurna-2 project in Iraq actually increased for the second quarter by 19 percent, but year-on-year compensation was lower by 75 percent to 6.4 million barrels for the first half of the year.
"The year-on-year dynamics was mainly driven by the reduction in compensation crude oil volumes from the West Qurna-2 project in Iraq," the company stressed.
Total production of hydrocarbons for Lukoil, not counting Iraq, increased 1.5 percent from last year, driven in large part by the development of gas projects.
Russia is the largest natural gas producer in the world and a main supplier to regional European and Asian economies. The country is also the largest non-member state contributor to an effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance an over-supplied market with managed production declines. Iraq is party to the agreement as one of OPEC's top producers.
Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov was a vocal supporter of extending the terms of the original OPEC arrangement by three months into early 2018. In March, he said the benefits from the agreement were "obvious," adding the company was "pretty comfortable" with oil prices at around $50 per barrel.
Both Brent, the global benchmark for the price of oil, and Urals, the Russian benchmark, were trading at around $50 per barrel early Wednesday. Brent was around $52.50 per barrel when Alekperov came out in support of extending the OPEC agreement.