LUKoil Field Attacked

BASRA, Iraq — Hundreds of protesters demanding jobs broke into LUKoil's West Qurna-2 oilfield in Iraq and wrecked offices early Monday, police and employees at the field said.

West Qurna-2, which is being developed by Russia's LUKoil, is not yet producing oil, but workers at the site said construction of a major crude oil processing plant had been disrupted by the protest.

Officials of the state-run Southern Oil Company said there was no disturbance around any of the producing oilfields in the south of Iraq and production was proceeding as normal.

Iraq's oil ministry said the West Qurna-2 incident would lead to a rethink of security at the field, which is a key element in Iraq's drive to become one of the world's largest oil exporters.

Iraqi oil officials expect the field's output to reach 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2013.