ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – The Kurdish delegation visiting Russia met with Russia’s energy minister and officials of the oil and gas company Gazprom.
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, Oil and Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami, and Safeen Dizayee, spokesperson of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), met with Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, on Thursday.
Gazprom, the giant Russian oil and gas firm which met with the Kurdish delegation for a second time today, has a product-sharing contract (PSC) with the Kurdish government for oil exploration in blocks in Halabja and Shakal.
The Kurdish delegation was invited to Russia to take part in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday which brings together chief executives of major Russian and international companies, and senior government officials.
Prime Minister Barzani is also scheduled to meet with the Russian President Vladimir Putin at the three-day forum.
Barzani and his accompanying delegation had met on Wednesday with the management board of the Russian oil giant Rosneft, including Chief Executive Officer Igor Schein.
A statement from the KRG said the meeting centred on cooperation between the KRG and Rosneft in the Kurdish energy sector and broader investment in the oil industry of the Kurdistan Region.
In February, the KRG signed a pre-financed contract with Russia’s state oil company Rosneft for the export of Kurdish crude oil. The landmark deal became the first time Kurdistan Region crude oil was to ship directly to a major oil refiner, a KRG official with knowledge of the deal told Rudaw at the time.