Lukoil chief wants level playing field in competition for oil reserves on Arctic shelf

LONDON – Russia’s second-largest oil company will push for legislation to allow independent producers to compete for the right to tap the rich energy reserves of the Arctic.

Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov says the company is anxious to get a piece of the Russian Artic shelf, which is dotted by oil deposits. Though no one is drilling yet in the Arctic, the Russian government has so far allowed only state-owned companies to offer plans.

Alekperov told reporters while announcing the company’s results Thursday that he seeks a level playing field for independents.

Lukoil, which in Russia is only behind state-owned Rosneft in size, routinely gets elbowed out of potentially major deals and licenses to oil fields that the government distributes.

Its profit rose 6.2 per cent to $11 billion in 2012.