LUKoil Hopes for Production Increase
LUKoil hopes to increase production next year by at least 1 percent, the company's chief executive said Tuesday.
The country's second-largest oil producer is on track to produce 91 million metric tons, slightly more than it produced last year.
A production increase would be a milestone for the company, which has been struggling to stabilize its output.
Speaking about the firm's foreign assets, CEO Vagit Alekperov said LUKoil will invest at least $250 million in exploration in western Africa next year. Its subsidiary LUKoil Overseas operates two offshore exploration projects in Ivory Coast.
An exploratory well at one of them, the CI-401 block, has revealed deposits of light oil and gas condensate in sandstone reservoirs.
In Vietnam, the company will decide next year, after drilling a third exploratory well, whether it wants to continue the project, Alekperov said at a news conference in London.
Two previous wells didn't uncover commercial reserves. LUKoil acquired a 50 percent stake in a production-sharing project for the Hanoi Trough-02 offshore block in October 2011.
Alekperov also said the board of directors will consider paying 40 rubles ($1.30) per share in the company's first ever interim dividend. The board will convene on Nov. 7 to discuss a dividend payout based on LUKoil's financial results for the first half of the year.
Lukoil hopes to sign a production-sharing agreement for the Khvalynskoye project in the Caspian Sea with its Kazakh and French partners by the summer of 2013, Alekperov said.