MOSCOW, May 6 (UPI) -- Russian energy company TNK-BP has the expertise needed to exploit the oil reserves in Iraq, the company's chief executive officer said in the wake of a merger.
TNK-BP Holding and the Iraqi Oil Co. for Oil Investments announced that they signed an agreement to establish a partnership in Iraq to acquire, develop and operate oil and gas reserves in the country.
Mikhail Fridman, interim CEO at TNK-BP, said the partnership with IOCOI is part of an effort by the Russian company to expand its international portfolio.
"TNK-BP is interested in the expansion of its international business," he said. "It possesses cutting-edge exploration and production technology and world-class cadre required to identify and implement joint projects in Iraq."
IOCOI, for its part, said that it was anticipating "delivering necessary consulting support" to TNK-BP in Iraq as part of the deal.
Baghdad in the wake of December oil auctions said it would rival Saudi Arabia in terms of oil production within a few years.
TNK-BP added that it was qualified by the Iraqi Oil Ministry to develop oil and gas projects in the country.