UPDATE 1-Lukoil raises investment, output forecasts -reports

Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:46am EDT

Related Topics

* Investment programme raised to $20 bln from $16 bln

* Hydrocarbon production seen up 3 pct vs 1.5-2 pct earlier (Adds detail, quotes)

MOSCOW, April 23 (Reuters) - Russia's No.2 crude producer Lukoil has increased its 2013 investment programme and hydrocarbon production forecast following the acquisition of upstream assets, Russian media quoted its chief executive as saying on Tuesday.

Vagit Alekperov said planned investment has been increased to $20 billion from $16 billion while hydrocarbon production is seen rising 3 percent versus an earlier forecast of 1.5-2 percent, Russian newswires reported.

In 2012, Lukoil invested $12 billion.

Lukoil has been struggling to stabilise production in Russia and has been aggressively acquiring upstream assets abroad, including Iraq's huge West Qurna-2 oilfield.

Earlier this month, Lukoil also acquired small Russian producer Samara-Nafta, which is currently producing 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, for $2.05 billion.

Alekperov said the deal was expected to close on April 26.

"We've made a big acquisition, approved a three-year programme, and, under any oil prices, we will not do two things, which is to lower dividends for our shareholders and (lower) investment programme," Interfax quoted Alekperov as saying.

On Monday, Lukoil's board recommended to pay 90 roubles per share in 2012 dividend, up from 75 roubles a year earlier.

Lukoil's domestic oil production fell in 2010-2012, mainly due to depletion of fields in West Siberia as well as lower-than-expected production potential of a field in Russia's northern Timan-Pechora region.

Last year, its hydrocarbon production stood at 2.17 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, up 0.5 percent due mainly to a rise in natural gas output. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Maria Kiselyova and Jason Neely)

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