Russian Oil Company Lukoil Snaps Up Offshore Blocks in Congo

By Daniel Terungwa

Russian oil company Lukoil has said it now has rights to two offshore Energy blocks in the Republic of Congo in partnership with Italian oil giant Eni.

According to Russian news agency, Interfax, the rights to the offshore blocks, known as Marine 24 and Marine 31, are now held by Lukoil with a 43% interest. Lukoil said that Congo accepted its application for the blocks, submitted with partner Eni.

The commercial terms for the venture have yet to be agreed on.

Lukoil already has a presence in the Republic of Congo in the Marine XII project, operated by Eni.

“First of all, we are interested in projects where Lukoil could act as operator. We have discussed a number of such opportunities today,” Lukoil’s Vice-President for America, Africa and the Middle East Ivan Romanovsky said after a meeting with the Congolese Minister of Hydrocarbons Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua.

Lukoil’s Vice-President for America, Africa and the Middle East Ivan Romanovsky

Lukoil purchased a 25% stake in Marine XII in 2019 for $800 million. Eni, which holds a 65% stake in the project, signed a contract with China’s Wison Heavy Industry to build an FLNG installation with a capacity of 2.4 million tonnes.

While Congo and Eni appear to be welcoming Lukoil with open arms, other projects Lukoil has sought to proceed with are being held up thanks to sanctions-related cold feet.

In Ghana, Lukoil is looking to sell its stake in the Peacan field development because banks have been nervous about getting involved due to sanctions.

Aker Energy, Lukoil’s partner, also grew nervous about moving forward on the project with the private Russian oil company.

Lukoil also recently was approved by Iraq’s Thi-Qar Oil to develop the Eridu oilfield after submitting a development plan back in 2021.