Lukoil and other Russian companies will compete ‘on equal terms’ for Iraqi government contracts to develop the nation’s vast oil fields, Iraqi oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani has said.

“There will be no privileges for any country or any company”, Shahristani said. “Lukoil will be competing with other firms on equal terms in accordance with the new oil laws.” Officials from Lukoil, Zarubeshneft and Mashinoimport are expected to meet with al-Shahristani today in Moscow.

The three companies are hoping to revise an earlier $4bill deal signed with Saddam Hussein’s government to develop the 600,000 barrel per day West Qurna field. However, Hussein cancelled this contract shortly before the US invaded in 2003.

The press are reporting that Lukoil may have a chance to revive the deal because ConocoPhillips holds a 20 pct stake in the Russian oil major. Lukoil has offered Conoco a 17.5 pct stake in West Qurna.

So Lukoil could get special favours because of its American investors…

Don’t forget this was not a war about oil…..