Egor Zubarev, Managing Director of LUKOIL Mid-East Limited: “Despite the global oil crisis, LUKOIL retains jobs for Iraqi personnel”. | 351 (May-June 2020)

2020-05-19 13:42 Views 235

Oil Journal: Mr. Zubarev, congratulations on your appointment to the position of LUKOIL Mid-East Limited Managing Director. Is the West Qurna-2 project familiar to you?

Yes, it is. In 2012 – 2016 as Mishrif Full Development Project Director, I had been preparing the second stage of West Qurna-2 development. Then I had been overseeing this project as Deputy General Director of LUKOIL-Engineering. I appreciate the opportunity to return to the West Qurna-2 provided by that Company.

OJ: What tasks do you set for yourself as a Managing Director?

The main task at present is to ensure safe and continuous operations at the field. The situation with the virus requires us to take quick and extraordinary common actions, and we feel full support in this from the government bodies of Iraq and Russia, as well as our employees.

We do not divide the people of Iraq into “friends” and “strangers”, into field workers and other residents. Therefore, along with measures designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus on West Qurna-2, we implement measures to support health facilities of Basra province. In March-April 2020 LUKOIL has purchased and handed over to the medical centres in Huweir, Izeddine Salim, Madeina and Qurna the medical consumables, laboratory equipment and reagents, disinfectants and personal protection equipment.

OJ: You mentioned the crisis in the industry. How did it affect LUKOIL Mid-East Limited?

Despite difficult situation in the industry, we will continue to work on the commissioning of new production facilities and count on the support of Iraqi government on this matter. We hope that together with the Ministry of Oil and Basra Oil Company we will find mutually beneficial solutions that will ensure economic efficiency for all participants of the West Qurna-2 project.

It is important for us to overcome this crisis with minimal loses, while maintaining organizational abilities and human capital. I want to emphasize that despite difficult situation in the industry, we keep all Iraqi employees in place. Moreover, the Company is recruiting new local staff. Training programs are continue to run and Iraqi employees are gradually filling expat positions after getting necessary skills.

OJ: This year, the West Qurna-2 project celebrates its 10th anniversary. How would you evaluate the results obtained over this period?

I believe that our project is unique for Iraq - since 2014, when production have been started on the West Qurna-2 field, we managed to get a highest production increase for a greenfield project - 400 thousand barrels per day. The Company has built infrastructure that meets the highest international standards for environmental and industrial safety. At the peak of construction works, it has created thousands of jobs for the local residents. For the past years, hundreds of Iraqi specialists have completed training at LUKOIL’s training centers.

Our main task today is together with Iraqi partners to lay a solid foundation for the further growth and development of the project, as well as the Basra province for years to come.

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