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Russia's LUKoil Declines To Buy ExxonMobil Share In Iraqi Oil Field

The head of LUKoil Overseas has appeared on the Rossiya 24 television channel and said his company has turned down an offer to purchase ExxonMobil's share in Iraq's West Qurna-1 oil field.

Andrei Kuzyaev said the West Kurna-1 project was a large-scale endeavor and LUKoil Overseas chooses to concentrate its efforts in Iraq on the West Qurna-2 field where the Russian company has a 75-percent stake.

ExxonMobil offered its 60-percent stake in the $50-billion West Qurna-1 project to LUKoil in November.

West Qurna-1 is estimated to hold some 9 billion barrels of oil.

China National Petroleum Corporation has been expressing great interest in purchasing the U.S. company's shares in the West Qurna-1 project.

Iraqi officials have indicated they favor the Chinese company's participation.

Based on reporting by Rossiya 24 TV and ITAR-TASS