MOSCOW Dec 27 Russia's second-largest crude
producer LUKOIL said it has cut its oil production
plan in Iraq by almost a third, in line with the local
government plans to increase the lifetime of its oilfields.
Andrei Kuzyayev, head of LUKOIL Overseas, told Russian state
TV channel Rossiya-24 in an interview aired on Wednesday that
LUKOIL is now looking for a peak production at West Qurna-2
oilfield at 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), not 1.8 million
bpd previously envisaged.
He said the Iraqi government has decided to cut peak oil
production in order to prop up oil prices and help its economy.
"That's why Iraq's leadership has decided to limit
production in the whole country to 9 million bpd, not 12 million
bpd," he said.
Iraq has signed a series of contracts with foreign companies
that target total oil production capacity of 12 million bpd by
2017, but has been reviewing the target.
Any deep cut to Iraq's overall target could mean the deals
could need to be adjusted to accommodate lower production
plateaus, which would mean lower returns for oil companies in
the short term.
Oil output in 2013 was targeted to reach an average 3.7
million bpd - just shy of an all-time high of 3.8 million, hit
in 1979. Exports are expected to run at 2.9 million bpd,
including 250,000 bpd contributed by the northern Kurdistan
Regional Government (KRG).