By Simon Kent.
Lukoil, the Russian energy giant with one of the biggest investments in southern Iraq at the vast West Qurna 2 oil field, have issued a statement in support of Iraq's move to split crude grades into Basra Heavy and Basra Light.
Previously, different grades arrived at Basra for blending, which not only caused delays but led buyers to complain about quality issues. With that process eliminated, buyers are happier and exports are moving faster, according to Lukoil.
At the company's annual general meeting in Volgograd, Ravil Maganov, Lukoil's Deputy President for Exploration and Production, explained the increased efficiency:
"All the problems with the restrictions were removed by the Iraqis. They created a separate system of transportation (for heavy oil)."
Maganov expressed further confidence that Lukoil would soon recoup investment in the 450,000 BPD field, and that new investment would continue.