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LUKoil Begins Pumping From Major Oil Field Near Basra

Iraqi Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi (center) sits between LUKoil Mideast's chief, Iskander Nasyrov (left), and Samsung Vice President Park Ki-Seok (right) as they sign a $1 billion deal to develop Iraq's second-biggest oil field in Al-Basrah in March.
Russia's second-largest oil producer, LUKoil, says it has begun pumping crude from an oil field in Iraq that is considered one of the region's most ambitious energy projects.

Senior officials from LUKoil and its partners in the project -- the Iraqi government, the U.S. firm Baker Hughes, and South Korea's Samsung -- attended a ceremony on April 25 marking the start of commercial oil production at the Qurna-2 field near the port city of Al-Basrah.

With an estimated 14 billion barrels of untapped reserves, the Qurna-2 is thought to be the world's second-largest undeveloped oil field.

LUKoil says it plans to invest $25 billion to bring the field to full production.

Based on reporting by dpa and Dow Jones