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Iraq's Maliki discusses oil project in Russia

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki speaks during a joint press conference in Arbil, on June 9, 2013. Maliki has held talks in Moscow with the Russian oil company Lukoil about enacting an existing energy contract and possible participation in future deals, Lukoil said. (AFP/File)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki held talks in Moscow on Monday with the Russian oil company Lukoil about enacting an existing energy contract and possible participation in future deals, Lukoil said.

Lukoil said that Maliki and Iraqi Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi met the its chief executive, Vagit Alekperov, to discuss Lukoil's participation in West Qurna 2 oilo field.

Lukoil and Norway's Statoil won the right to develop a section of Qurna -- one of Iraq's largest oil fields -- in 2009.

"The sides discussed the progress of the West Qurna 2 field's development and the company's plans to exploit Block 10," Lukoil said in a statement.

"They also discussed other promising projects in which the company may become involved."

The statement added that the Iraqi officials stressed that Lukoil "was strictly fulfilling all of its obligations" at West Qurna 2.

Iraq has proved reserves of 143.1 billion barrels of oil and 3.2 trillion cubic metres (111.9 trillion cubic feet) of gas -- both among the highest such deposits in the world.

Last year Iraq also signed a deal with Lukoil and Japan's Inpex to explore a block covering the provinces of Muthanna and Dhi Qar in the south of the country.

Maliki's visit to Moscow coincided with Russia staging an informal summit of gas exporting nations that will include the participation of the leaders of Venezuela and Iran.

He is expected separately to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday.