Iraq's state-oil marketer SOMO and the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil have agreed to form a joint crude marketing venture, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said.
The venture between SOMO and Litasco would help sell Iraqi crude and train Iraqi staff in marketing, the ministry said in a statement.
“The aim behind the contract is to transform the company to a commercial company contributing in selling the Iraqi oil… (and) training the staff according to the demands of the next period,” Falah Al-Ameri, director general of SOMO said.
Litasco already has a representative office in Iraq, where Lukoil is a major foreign oil producers, according to the website of the Moscow-based company.
SOMO handles exports from areas under control of the central Iraqi government. The Kurdish autonomous government in the north of Iraq sells crude it produces independently. They share output from a disputed field in the northern Kirkuk area.
SOMO's average crude exports was 3.756 million barrels per day in March, down from 3.869 million bpd in February as the country implemented OPEC cuts, the company said last week.
Iraq, OPEC's second biggest producer after Saudi Arabia, was 90 percent compliant with its share of OPEC cuts, he said.