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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

LUKoil to Pitch Port Project at U.S. Summit

No. 1 oil firm LUKoil said Wednesday it planned to present a major oil export port project in Murmansk, on the Barents Sea, during an Oct. 1-2 Russia-U.S. energy summit in Houston.

The idea to build a 1 million barrels per day oil export terminal, aimed at boosting oil supplies to the United States, was floated by LUKoil earlier this year and supported in August by No 2 oil producer Yukos.

LUKoil said Wednesday that more firms had joined the scheme. "The idea of staging a presentation was agreed by a working group which includes LUKoil, Yukos, Tyumen Oil Co. and Sibneft," LUKoil spokesman Dmitry Dolgov said.

Russia currently exports more than 3 million bpd of crude to world markets. Its oil output is booming for the fourth consecutive year and Moscow needs to build new export routes as its own domestic consumption is barely increasing.

Russian oil firms ship most of their crude to Europe but say they are ready to supply more crude to the United States, though they need more deep-water ports and new logistics to bypass the crowded Bosporous and the Danish strait in the north.

The United States has said Russia's booming output could help cushion oil markets against volatile supplies from OPEC producers in the politically turbulent Middle East.

LUKoil raised the idea of building a terminal in Murmansk, formerly a Soviet-era military base, during the Russia-U.S. summit in May. But analysts questioned the plan, saying the outlet would require construction of a new huge and costly pipeline.

Dolgov said estimates showed investments of up to $1.5 billion would be needed to build a terminal and a 1,500-kilometer pipeline, and that the project was unlikely to be ready before 2005.