Lukoil suspends offshore project due to Ivory Coast unrest
Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil producer, announced Monday that the unrest in Ivory Coast had forced it to suspend its activities at an offshore prospecting project.
"Due to the conflict in Ivory Coast we are stopping our activities in the CI-205 oil bloc" a Lukoil press spokesman told AFP.
Lukoil Overseas, a wholly-owned subsidiary, said in a statement that the company "will resume active operations under the CI-205 project as soon as the situation in Cote d'Ivoire subsides."
Lukoil said it had informed the Ivory Coast authorities and its Oranto Petroleum and Petroci Holding partner companies.
Fighters for Ivory Coast's internationally recognised leader Alassane Ouattara on Monday launched a new push to unseat his rival incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, a spokesman said, as both sides denied committing atrocities.
Heavy weapons fire and explosions could be heard from Abidjan's central Plateau area, site of the presidential palace, as the offensive began in the early afternoon.
Lukoil has been operating in the country since 2006, prospecting three different areas. Its press service said no decision had been made on the other two blocs.
© 2011 AFP