October 24, 2019: Russian crude producer LUKOIL has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to explore and produce hydrocarbons in the region.

LUKOIL CEO Vagit Alekperov and minister of mines and hydrocarbons of Guinea Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima inked the deal at the Russia–Africa Summit in Sochi.

Active in Africa since 1995, LUKOIL develops projects mainly in West and Central African countries – Ghana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.

Lukoil is in talks with Saudi Aramco on potential joint projects outside Russia and Saudi Arabia, including some in Africa, Alekperov said on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi.

"We are constantly discussing joint opportunities with them, including their interest in third countries, in Africa, but this is still at the stage of studying and talks," he said.

Alekperov said that LUKOIL is also looking to increase its cooperation with Eni in the Republic of Congo.

Earlier this year, LUKOIL acquired a 25 percent stake in the Marine XII license offshore the Republic of Congo, on which Eni is the operator and holds a 65 percent stake. State-owned company Societe Nationale des Petroles du Congo also holds a 10 percent interest in the project.

Alekperov added that the company assumes an oil price of around $60/b in its budget and other economic parameters and that African projects that the company is looking into are commercially viable at this price.

Finally, he said LUKOIL was not in talks with Brazil's Petrobras over a stake in two production projects in Nigeria. Earlier this month, the Nigerian petroleum ministry indicated that Lukoil was interested in taking over Petrobras' stakes.

The joint venture between LUKOIL and Saudi Aramco was founded in 2004, with Lukoil owning 80 percent of the company.

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