LUKoil Considers Bids for 2 Iraqi Fields

ISTANBUL -- LUKoil is interested in bidding for at least two of the fields Iraq is offering in an oil and gas bidding round, two company sources said Friday.

"We are interested in both the West Qurna and the Rumaila oil fields," one source said.

LUKoil may join forces with U.S. major ConocoPhillips to bid for the fields, he added, speaking on condition of anonymity on the sidelines of a workshop between Iraqi officials and oil firms on the bidding round. Conoco owns a 20 percent stake in LUKoil.

Rumaila is the largest field on offer and alone accounts for nearly 15 percent of Iraq's oil reserves.

LUKoil has lobbied Iraqi officials to revive a deal for West Qurna that it signed while Saddam Hussein was in power. The sources declined to comment on whether LUKoil was continuing those efforts. The company had hoped that Russia's decision to forgive most of Iraq's $12.9 billion debt last year might help. Iraq has said LUKoil would have to bid for the contract. But Baghdad has renegotiated and signed another Hussein-era deal with China's CNPC.