Iraq asks LUKoil to suspend new projects over falling oil prices
The Iraqi Oil Ministry has sent a letter to Russian oil giant LUKoil asking it to suspend its new projects in the country due to low oil prices, Sputnik reported.
"LUKoil Overseas has received a letter from the Iraqi Oil Ministry requesting the suspension of all new projects and limitations on the work on them in 2015 due to low oil prices. The letter is currently under consideration," the spokesperson said Friday.
The spokesperson added that LUKoil will continue to work on the West Qurna-2 project in Iraq in compliance with a previously approved plan and obligations under the contract.
Discovered in 1973, West Qurna-2 is the world's second-largest undeveloped field with recoverable oil reserves of around 14 billion barrels. In December 2009, LUKoil in a joint venture with Norwegian Statoil and the Iraqi North Oil Company won a reverse auction on the project. In 2012, Statoil transferred its 18.75 percent share to the Russian company.
The Iraqi ministry's decision was announced amid the slump in global oil prices. Since last June, prices have fallen by about 50 percent due to market oversupply and large crude oil stockpiles. Current prices are hovering at about $45-$50 per barrel.