Russia’s Lukoil, the developer of Iraq’s West Qurna phase-2 oil field, now expects to begin production in 2013.

Production had been planned for late-2012. “I think we will get the first oil in 2013,” said Vagit Alekperov, chief executive officer of Lukoil, on 23 April, according to Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency.

“Production will amount to 95 million tonnes of oil a year [1.9 million barrels a day (b/d)], a stable production level for more than 10 years,” said Alekperov. Lukoil’s joint venture partner, Statoil of Norway, had previously said production would hit 120,000 b/d in 2012.

Lukoil and Statoil plan to invest $4.5bn in the first phase of development of the 12.9 billion-barrel field with overall investments will exceed $30bn, said Alekperov.

The Russian firm set a 30 March deadline for bidding firms to submit commercial proposals for early production facilities. Four tenders were issued for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deals in September covering oil gathering systems, processing facilities and water supply system, along with an oil export pipeline, storage facilities, a power station and associated gas processing plant (MEED 18:2:11).

Technical bids for the associated gas process plant and power station were submitted on 30 January. Italy’s Saipem, the UK’s Petrofac, France’s Technip and Japan’s JGC are among the firms invited to submit bids, according to a source close to the project.

Lukoil holds a 56.25 per cent operator stake in the contract, while Statoil takes a 18.75 per cent stake and two state-owned companies, South Oil Company and North Oil Company share the remaining 25 per cent.