15 Dec 2023 15:47

Lukoil could increase it share in Iraqi Eridu project to 80% thanks to Japan's Inpex - media

MOSCOW. Dec 15 (Interfax) - LUKOIL may increase its stake in Block 10 in Iraq to 80% after the Japanese Inpex sold half of its 40%, Iraqi publication Rudaw said, citing an official in the province of Dhi Qar, where the field is located.

"Russian Lukoil acquired an additional 20% in Eridu from the Japanese company and now owns 80% of the oil field," the official told the newspaper.

Lukoil has not commented on this information.

Exploration at Block 10 began in 2012; 2D and 3D seismic surveys were completed and three exploration and six appraisal wells were drilled. As a result, the Eridu field was discovered, with estimated reserves of 12.9 billion barrels. The field has become one of the largest oil discoveries in Iraq in the past 20 years.

Block 10, with an area of 5,800 sq. km., is located in southern Iraq, 120 km west of Basra, and 150 km from the West Qurna-2 field. Lukoil is the project operator with a 60% share, and its partner is Inpex South Iraq with 40%. The contract holder from the Iraqi side is state company TOC.

The preliminary estimate of recoverable reserves was more than 4 billion barrels. Last October, Japanese Inpex president and CEO Takayuki Ueda told reporters that if the Block 10 project in Iraq continued to stall, the company would consider selling its stake. Previously, it was expected that the project could be launched in 2024.

In March of this year, Lukoil received approval from TOC for an application to commercialize reserves and a preliminary proposal for the development of the Eridu oil field. After this, the partners planned to begin implementing a development plan with a projected production level of 250,000 barrels per day. The planned oil production of 30,000 barrels per day at the first stage should be achieved in 2025.