Home » Led by Russian oil mogul Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil expands across West Africa

Led by Russian oil mogul Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil expands across West Africa

With the aim to strengthen its position, Lukoil diversifies with new acquisitions in the Gulf of Guinea.

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

Key Points:

  • Lukoil plans to strengthen its West African presence by acquiring three offshore blocks in the Gulf of Guinea.
  • The company has acquired a 56.6-percent stake in each block from Vanco Energy.
  • Major assets include blocks in Ivory Coast and Ghana, part of the Tano oil and gas basin.

Russia’s largest oil producer owned by Russian billionaire Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil, has expanded its presence in West Africa by acquiring control of three exploration offshore blocks in the Gulf of Guinea.

This decision is aimed at reinforcing Lukoil’s position in the region, involves purchasing a 56.6-percent stake in each block from U.S. company Vanco Energy. The blocks, CI-101 and CI-401 in Ivory Coast waters and the Cape Three Points Deep Water block in Ghana, cover 15,000 square kilometers in the deep-water Tano oil and gas basin.

Strategic Acquisition and Partnerships

Lukoil Overseas President Andrei Kuzyaev highlighted the importance of these projects, stating,

“The projects are of special interest to us, as they significantly diversify our business of reinforcing and developing the company’s position in West Africa,” he stated.

Last year, Lukoil also acquired a 63-percent stake in Ivory Coast offshore block CI-205, located near the country’s largest oil field, Baobab.

Ivory Coast’s state firm Petroci Holding retains a 15 percent stake in blocks CI-101 and CI-404, while Ghana’s state National Petroleum Company holds a 15-percent interest in the Cape Three Points Deep Water block. Lukoil, which produces more than 1.9 million barrels of oil per day primarily in Russia, is the most active Russian oil firm abroad, with exploration and production projects in countries like Egypt, Venezuela, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

Long-term exploration agreements

The exploration of CI-101 and CI-404 comes under a Production Sharing Agreement signed in 2005. This agreement provides an exploration period of 5.5 years. The Cape Three Points Deep Water block is being developed under a 2002 agreement with a seven-year exploration period. These long-term agreements underline Lukoil’s commitment to expanding its international operations and tapping into the lucrative West African oil and gas market.

With ConocoPhillips holding a 20-percent stake in Lukoil, the Russian oil giant continues to strengthen its global footprint. The recent acquisition in the Gulf of Guinea is part of Lukoil’s broader strategy to diversify and expand its operations, ensuring a robust presence in key international markets.

Alekperov’s stake in Lukoil

Alekperov, a major shareholder of Lukoil, derives the majority of his fortune from his 28.3-percent stake in the company. Lukoil, a publicly traded oil and gas company based in Moscow, reported $86.3 billion in revenue in 2023, employs over 100,000 people, and accounts for about two percent of the world’s oil production.

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