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War in Iraq Brings Losses of USD 1 Billion to Oil Giant Tatneft - 25 March, 2003

Tatneft has incurred losses of about USD 1 billion as a result of the war in Iraq and the collapse of oil contracts. According to the PRIME-TASS news agency, this was announced by Deputy Director of Tatneft Hamit Kaveyev.

Over the last few years oil specialists from Tatarstan had been working in Iraq, sharing their expertise in exploiting oil fields. Mr Kaveyev said that a contract had been signed to bore 33 oil wells and another contract to develop 60 other wells had been close to completion. 'Along with Zarubezhneft we had prepared a number of exploration drilling programmes for the Iraqi oil fields,' Mr Kaveyev emphasised. The breakout of war meant that these contracts had to be aborted and Russian specialists were evacuated from Iraq.

Tatar oil specialists had been preparing to send a large delegation to Iraq together with drilling equipment. 'We would have lost about USD 100 million more if we had gone through with this plan,' Mr Kaveyev pointed out. He hopes that Tatneft's operations in Iraq will continue after the war.