June 9, 2017 / 11:07 AM / 2 years ago

Russia's Gazprom Neft considers new Iraqi Kurdistan oil projects

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 9 (Reuters) - Gazprom Neft , the oil arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, said on Friday it was considering an offer expand its activities Iraqi’s Kurdistan region, mirroring a move in the region by Russian peer Rosneft.

Gazprom Neft is now working on three oil projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, where it is mostly engaged in exploration. In Iraq, outside the Kurdish area, Gazprom Neft is involved in the Badra oil field, where it produces 77,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Kurdish oil production has been mainly been led in recent years by mid-sized firms such as Genel. Larger companies such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron are still exploring and have given up some blocks after disappointing searches.

“We are looking into possibilities of increasing our exposure (to Iraqi Kurdistan). We have been offered such possibilities,” Vadim Yakovlev, Gazprom Neft’s first deputy chief executive, told reporters on the sidelines of an annual general meeting. He did not elaborate on the new projects.

Russian major Rosneft agreed this month to explore and develop five fields in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Gazprom Neft also planned to increase its stake in a West Siberian project, owned by Spanish oil major Repsol, Yakovlev said, adding his firm had applied to Russia’s regulator to acquire 25 percent in Eurotek-Yugra.

Yakovlev said the deal was expected to be completed in two to three months. The project’s reserves are valued at 30 million tonnes. (Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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