Tatneft will return to Iraq

Tatneft intends to revive its operations in Iraq, Shafagat Takhautdinov, the company's general director, said at a news briefing Tuesday, the official website of the Republic of Tartarstan has reported.

Takhautdinov said the return to Iraq of Tartarstan oil crews would come when the situation in the country is stabilized so that 'lives are not at risk.' Jointly with Zarubezhneft, Tatneft has two contracts for the drilling of 78 wells. One was completed before the start of hostilities in Iraq, and the wells came through the war unscathed, Takhautdinov said.

Tatneft produced 12,228,000 tons of oil in the first six months of 2003, an increase of 20,000 tons from the same period the year before. For the first half of 2003, the company has opened 205 new wells in drilling activity totaling 391,000 meters. Some 31% of Tatneft shares are held by Tartarstan's Ministry of Land and Property Relationships. Employes of the firm hold 8% and more than 6% belong to the entity known as the TIAF Group. The remainder is divided among some 75,000 physical and more than 100,000 corporate entities

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