Lukoil switches attention to offshore Sierra Leone block

LUKOIL_HQLukoil’s head office in Russian capital Moscow. (Image source: Lukoil)Lukoil has announced its intention to spend US$100 million on launching exploration activities in its offshore Sierra Leone block

Russia’s second largest oil producer has said it hopes to complete exploration of the first block by the end of 2012.

“If we are successful in the exercise on the first block, we hope to embark on another block in the future,” said Lukoil vice-president for exploration Anatoly Katoshin.

Lukoil has switched its focus to overseas ventures and bought a 49 per cent stake in the Sierra Leone offshore block last year after struggling to replace production with new reserves in recent years.

The Russian firm, which has been attempting to build its portfolio of African oil assets, has already drilled several wells in the Gulf of Guinea as part of a joint venture with Ghana’s National Petroleum Corporation and Texas-based Vanco.

Company geologists plan to drill a first exploration well on the Sierra Leone block by the end of the year with positive results leading to a potential expansion of its operations in region.

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