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LUKoil plans $500 million Eurobond issue

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - LUKoil [RTS: LKOH] has plans for a $500 million Eurobond issue in the first half of 2007, the president of Russia's largest crude producer said Monday.

It could become the company's first issue for the past four years, and Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are said to have been authorized to arrange the facility.

"We will issue Eurobonds this year, possibly in the first half," Vagit Alekperov said.

LUKoil has repeatedly announced its plans for Eurobonds since early 2004, but the issue has always seen delays.

Last time the company issued Eurobonds in 2002, worth $55 million with maturity in November 2007. The previous two placements, totaling $350 million and $230 million respectively, were carried out in 1997 and repaid in 2003 and 2002 respectively.

One of the world's leading vertically integrated oil and gas companies, LUKoil primary operations are in exploration and production of oil and gas, production of petroleum products and petrochemicals, and marketing of these products.

Most of the company's exploration and production activity is located in Russia, and its main resource base is in West Siberia. Most of the company's output is sold on the international market. LUKoil petroleum products are sold in Russia, Eastern Europe, CIS countries and the United States.

The company holds around 1.3% of global oil reserves and accounts for 2.1% of global oil production. It dominates the Russian energy sector, with 18% of total Russian oil output and 18% of total Russian oil refining.

Russia's ING Bank (Eurasia) is LUKoil's majority shareholder (63.3%) and U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips has a 20% stake in the crude producer.

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