Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, said on June 9 it was considering an offer to expand its activities Iraqi’s Kurdistan region, mirroring a move in the region by Russian peer Rosneft.
Gazprom Neft is 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 bbl/d.
Kurdish oil production has been mainly been led in recent years by mid-sized firms such as Genel. Larger companies such as ExxonMobil 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, the fastest growing company among Russian oil producers by volumes, 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% 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.
Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov said his company expected a rise in net profit and dividends in 2017 after it saw earnings of $3.5 billion and paid 19 cents per share on 2016 results.
The company expected to increase its oil output further in 2018 from planned 89.2 million tonnes (1.78 MMbbl/d) this year, though the future volumes would depend on how a global deal to cut oil production would pan out, Yakovlev said.
Russia has joined OPEC and other non-OPEC producers in cutting output in a bid to reduce bloated global inventories and shore up oil prices.
Gazprom Neft operates Russia’s only offshore Arctic oil field, Prirazlomnoye, where production is seen rising to 4.5 million tonnes per year by 2019 from 2.6 million tonnes seen in 2017.