Lukoil, Aramco to jointly explore oil opportunities in Africa

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Lukoil plans to strengthen its presence in West Africa

Russia’s Lukoil is exploring joint oil and gas exploration opportunities with Saudi Aramco in Africa, the company told the media. Lukoil is a multinational crude petroleum and natural gas extraction company, headquartered in Moscow.

Both Aramco and Lukoil have established good relations and are working toward joint exploration opportunities in third countries. Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov said at a Russia-Africa forum that Lukoil is withdrawing from a joint exploration project with Aramco in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We have traditionally had friendly relations with Saudi Aramco. We had a major exploration project there, we discovered a field there. Unfortunately, this is a complex field, ultra-deep. Saudi Aramco, the government of Saudi Arabia could not create the conditions it was economically unfeasible to develop,” Alekperov told the media.

But the withdrawal from the exploration project will not stop Lukoil and Aramco from seeking joint exploration opportunities in the future. Currently, Lukoil owns 80 percent of a joint venture with Saudi Aramco, known as LUKOIL Saudi Arabia Energy.

Lukoil, in particular has demonstrated interested in West Africa —and plans to strengthen its presence in the region. The company has received requests from various African states to study their downstream sector. The main reason is because downstream sector in Africa is complex, Alekperov noted.

Lukoil is waiting for an approval from Ghana on the Pekan offshore field development project. It has had talks with the Ghana government on the deep-water block. The Russian giant is also planning to collaborate with Eni to expand its business in Congo. Eni is an Italian oil and gas company.