LUKoil receives rights to prospect and develop gas fields in Saudi Arabia

LUKoil has received rights to conclude a contract with the government of Saudi Arabia to prospect and develop gas fields and gas condensate. Rosbalt reported today that LUKOIL's press service said a joint venture to realize the project would be created with Saudi state oil company Saudi Aramco. LUKOIL would gain an 80% share. LUKoil-Overseas, which is a 100% subsidiary of LUKoil, will direct the project.

The signing of a contract between the Saudi government and the joint venture is planned for March. According to the contract, development and prospecting will take place in the center of the country for a total of 40 years.

LUKoil was registered in 1993. The company's share capital is worth approximately USD 754,000 and is divided into 850,563,255 ordinary shares. LUKoil's main spheres of activity are oil and gas exploration and extraction, and the production and sale of oil products. In 2002, LUKoil increased oil extraction by 1.9% to 79.8 million tonnes, but its gas production fell by 1.9% to 5.1 billion cubic metres. The company refined 41.5 million tonnes of oil last year (38 million tonnes in 2001), of which 33.9 million tonnes were refined at Russian plants and 7.7 million tonnes at foreign plants. Last year LUKoil refined 2.1 billion cubic metres of gas and 0.3 million tonnes of hydrocarbons.

LUKoil's investment programme for 2003 was worth about USD 2.4 billion, which is 12.4% higher that its target for 2002.

LUKoil is Russia's leading vertically organized oil company. Its chief activities are exploration for and extraction of oil and gas and production and sale of petroleum products. Principal stockholders include Garant, ING Bank, NIKOIL, Depository Clearing Company, Brunswick UBS Warburg, AMPO Bank, National Depository Center, ING Bank (Eurasia), company management and other persons.

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