MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. Russian companies will be able to continue their projects in Iraq, despite the conflict in that country, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told journalists.
"Our companies continue to work for today and we believe that they will be able to go on with the implementation of their projects," he said.
The Iraqi army’s press service reported that the armed forces had regained control over a number of strategically important oil and gas facilities. The Peshmerga, Kurdish armed units, denied those reports claiming that they are still in control of the main oil fields in the province.
On October 9, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, gave instructions to the government forces to restore security and stability in the Kirkuk province, cooperating with the Kurdish Peshmerga units and the local residents.
The Iraqi prime minister said earlier that the federal and local forces would control the disputed areas together, under the guidance of Baghdad’s authorities.
Russian oil major Lukoil is participating in the development of the West Qurna-2 oilfield in southern Iraq, 65 km northwest of the major port city of Basra. The current project’s participants are the South Oil Company of the Ministry of Oil of Iraq (on behalf of the state) and a consortium of contractors comprising Lukoil (75%) and the Iraqi North Oil Company (25%).
Also Russia’s Gazprom Neft is currently engaged in oil development in Iraq. The company planned to increase its oil production by 17% to 220,000 tonnes in Iraqi Kurdistan.