Iraqi Army Called In to Halt Protest at Lukoil Site

Iraqi security forces broke up a protest today by people seeking work at the OAO Lukoil-operated West Qurna-2 oil field, an official of the Moscow-based energy company said.

Several dozen people blocked the entrance to a central processing facility run by Samsung Group, the official said, asking not to be identified due to company policy. The army and police were called in to restore order after the gathering turned violent, the person said.

Fareed Khalid al-Ayoubi, head of the security committee at the Basra provincial council in Iraq, said by telephone that protesters smashed several computers and windows during a rally they held to seek jobs at the project. One of the protesters, Mohammad al-Alwani, said the job-seekers will regroup tomorrow and hold a sit-in at the site, speaking by phone from Basra.

Lukoil signed a $988 million contract with South Korea’s Samsung to help develop West Qurna-2 in March 2012. Lukoil holds 75 percent of the field, one of the country’s largest, after Statoil SA withdrew last year from the project in southern Basra province. The Iraqi government controls the remaining shares.

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