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    ConocoPhillips, Lukoil Discuss Joint Ventures

    Companies expect to have something to announce going into 2008.

    NEW ORLEANS -- ConocoPhillips chief executive James Mulva is meeting later this week with the chairman of OAO Lukoil in Houston to discuss joint-venture opportunities to build on the company's alliance, The Associated Press reported.

    "We continue to look at the opportunities we can do together, both upstream and downstream, both in Russia and outside Russia," Mulva said. "We expect to have something ... we can hopefully announce as we go into 2008."

    Mulva spoke with reporters on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's main trade group, according to the AP.

    In September 2004, ConocoPhillips announced a strategic alliance under which the U.S. oil giant would purchase up to 20 percent of Lukoil shares and collaborate with the Russian company on ventures both inside and outside of Russia.

    Mulva, responding to questions on other topics, said the company is in ongoing talks with Venezuela regarding compensation for its investment in the heavy oil ventures in Orinoco basin. ConocoPhillips announced it would pull out of the ventures in June rather than accede to less beneficial commercial terms. Mulva reiterated yesterday that he expects to have an agreement with Venezuela within months, the AP report stated.

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