LONDON --Lukoil views the north Caspian as a priority region for its growth plans, said president Vagit Alekperov at an analysts' briefing in London yesterday.
"We are working in this area with Rosneft and Gazprom, and in partnership with Caspian Petroleum Co.," he added, "and we expect to start drilling new wells last year, via a newly ordered rig that will allow us to work in shallow water."
Lukoil is also in discussions with local companies concerning further acquisitions and partnerships in the Russian sector.
In a separate development, the company has signed an agreement with Gazpromneft to set up a joint venture to pursue field developments throughout Russia; the documents currently are under review by the companies' respective boards.
Vice-president Leonid Fedun said the newly installed Varandey offshore offloading terminal has been connected to a platform in the Barents Sea. It will eventually help Varandey transfer up to 15 MMt/yr of crude from fields in the Timan Pechora region to ice-breaker shuttle tankers.