LUKoil Expects 2007 Profit of $8Bln

LUKoil expects to record a 2007 profit of about $8 billion, president Vagit Alekperov said Saturday.

Alekperov made the statement after a meeting of the board of directors to discuss the company's preliminary results. It was unclear when the final figures would be released.

LUKoil reported a profit of $7.48 billion for 2006.

The expected jump in profit comes amid sharply higher world energy prices. But the company suggested profit was also trimmed by an array of macroeconomic factors.

Alekperov said LUKoil's production rose by about 1.6 percent to 96.6 million tons in 2007 -- 91.1 million of that from Russian oil fields.

LUKoil continues to pursue the prospect of developing Iraq's giant West Qurna oil field, and Alekperov said he planned to discuss the issue with Iraq's oil minister at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this month.