By Emmanuel Tumanjong
Special to Dow Jones Newswires
Russian oil giant Lukoil has bought a 25% stake in Congo Republic oil block Marine XII from New Age M12 Holding, the Central African nation's government said late Tuesday.
The stake purchase, on which negotiations began in June, is valued at $800 million, and increase strategic clout for Lukoil, which is expanding its oil-and-gas tentacles in Africa, including in Cameroon, Ghana and other countries.
The Marine XII block, located 20 kilometers off the Congo Republic's southwestern coast, has Italy's Eni as chief operator, and has already started producing crude. Eni owns a 65% stake on the oil block, while the remaining 10% is controlled by the Congo Republic government.
With reserves estimated at 1.3 billion barrels, the Marine XII block produces 28,000 barrels of crude a day, and 1.7 million cubic meters of gas from the two fields of Nene and Litchendjili.
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