Russia's Lukoil ready to lift output if OPEC and allies adjust pact
* Lukoil cut output by 45,000 bpd under OPEC-led deal
* Russian firm produced 1.8 million bpd in Q1 2018
* Buyback to be launched in H2 to boost share price
(OPECAdds comments from Lukoil executives)
By Oksana Kobzeva
MOSCOW, June 21 (Reuters) - Russia's second-largest oil firm
Lukoil is ready to increase its oil production by
23,000 barrels per day (bpd) in two to three months if OPEC and
its allies agree to ease their output curbs, the company said.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries,
Russia and other oil producers are meeting in Vienna this week
to discuss a possible increase in production, after reducing
their output by 1.8 million bpd since January 2017.
As part of Russia's commitment to the deal, Lukoil cut
output by 45,000 bpd.
Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov said the company hoped for the
easing of production curbs, which helped cut a global supply
glut and boosted oil prices that had slumped below $30 a barrel
in 2016. Brent crude is now trading around $73.
"I think that the price of oil will be between $70 and $75
per barrel until the end of the year," Alekperov said. "We are
counting on that."
Lukoil could raise output by 23,000 bpd if OPEC and its
allies agreed to gradually restore output, Lukoil First Deputy
President Alexander Matytsyn said.
The company was producing 1.8 million bpd in first quarter
Lukoil aims to boost its share price with a buyback
programme over five years worth $3 billion, set to start in the
second half of 2018. Its shares rose 0.4 percent on Thursday.
Matytsyn said 100 million treasury shares could be redeemed
by the end of 2018. That would leave the company holding 40
million treasury shares, which it said would be used in an
Lukoil said it would add another 50,000 bpd in capacity at
Iraq's West Qurna-2 field by the end of 2019 to reach production
of 450,000 bpd, Alekperov said.
Regarding projects in Mexico, Alekperov said the Russian
firm was working on a deal with its Italian partner Eni
on three or four blocks "to share risks in terms of geology,
finances and infrastructure."
"We agreed in principle, now the details are being
discussed," he said. He did not elaborate.
Eni and Lukoil won offshore exploration and production
licences in the Cuenca Salina basin in Mexico in March.
Eni will have 75 percent in a joint venture that holds the
operating licence, while Lukoil would have the remaining 25
percent. The Russian firm is considering swapping licences in
Mexico with Eni.
(Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva
Writing by Denis Pinchuk and Kevin O'Flynn
Editing by Jason Neely and Edmund Blair)
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