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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

LUKoil Expands in West Africa

LUKoil has acquired control in three exploration offshore blocks in the Gulf of Guinea to strengthen its position in West Africa, it said Thursday.

Stakes of 56.6 percent in each block were bought by LUKoil Overseas from U.S. company Vanco Energy.

The blocks cover 15,000 square kilometers and are in a deep-water zone some 50 to 100 kilometers from the shore. Two of the blocks, CI-101 and CI-401, are in Ivory Coast waters while the Cape Three Points Deep Water block is in Ghana. All three are part of the Tano oil-and-gas basin.

"The projects are of special interest to us, as they significantly diversify our business of reinforcing and developing the company's position in West Africa," Andrei Kuzyayev, president of LUKoil Overseas, said in a statement.

Last year, LUKoil bought 63 percent in Ivory Coast offshore block CI-205, 15 kilometers from the Baobab oil field, the country's largest.

Ivory Coast state firm Petroci Holding will keep 15 percent in the CI-101 and CI-404 blocks, while Ghana's National Petroleum Company will hold 15 percent in the Cape Three Points Deep Water block.

LUKoil, in which U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips has a 20 percent stake, produces over 1.9 million barrels of oil per day, mainly in Russia.

It has exploration and production projects in a number of countries, including Egypt, Venezuela, Columbia, Saudi Arabia and Iran.