Lukoil Anticipates Iran Reentry

Lukoil Anticipates Iran ReentryLukoil Anticipates Iran Reentry

Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov said his company is seriously considering reentering the Iranian energy market following the removal of international sanctions earlier this year

In remarks made to a Russian media group on 16 June, the Lukoil chief expressed interest in Iranian oil and gas cooperation, Oil Price reported.

“It is mostly agreed on, according to my information, but there are minor details left. But as a rule, those details are always where the problems hide,” said Alekperov, alluding to the need for Russia to create a law permitting foreign investment in Iranian projects.

Alekperov believes Lukoil could pursue “exploration projects and projects that require rehabilitation” in Iran, and expressed confidence that his company could rejoin Statoil of Norway in resuming the suspended onshore Anaran venture. Lukoil in 2010 cited US sanctions as the reason it withdrew from the venture in 2010.

Anaran encompassed four sites holding estimated reserves of 2 billion barrels of oil.

Nevertheless, he detailed a series of preconditions prior to potentially resuming the venture.

“The previous buyback conditions would be unacceptable today because they neither stimulate investors nor allow them to take the acceptable risk we have always allowed ourselves under production sharing contracts or joint ventures,” he said.

Aside from referring to Iran, Alekperov said Lukoil could sell off its four European refineries in Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and the Netherlands.

The Russian oil company in recent years has concentrated mainly on the exploration of gas and oil fields; thus, he doesn’t view the refineries as “strategic” assets.

According to Alekperov, Lukoil might sell part or all of its oil refining business in Europe or potentially spin off its oil refineries in a separate entity and seek to attract investors into it.