* Chinese partner would help secure market for Qurna crude -
* Iraq has spoken in favour of joint Russia-China investment
* Lukoil's foreign projects help offset Siberian declines
* Alekperov sees output fall reversing in 2013
(Adds Alekperov quotes, background)
NOVY URENGOI, Russia, Jan 15 Russian company
LUKOIL would like a Chinese firm to succeed Norwegian
group Statoil as its partner in an Iraqi oil field,
meaning there would be a ready buyer for crude produced there.
"We are less interested in (investment) money than in
long-term marketing of our output," chief executive and largest
Lukoil shareholder Vagit Alekperov told reporters on Tuesday.
"For us ... the most appropriate partners are from China,
where there is stable growth in oil consumption, and West Qurna
volumes are very large, so they need to be placed efficiently."
Last year, Statoil agreed to sell its 18.75 percent stake in
West Qurna Phase 2, making Lukoil the sole foreign partner in
the oil field with a 75 percent holding. The deal made Statoil
the first big Western oil group to abandon one of the lucrative
oil deals offered by Iraq in recent years.
Lukoil, which oversees the largest share of oil reserves in
Iraq among foreign companies, has been the subject of reports it
could acquire U.S. group ExxonMobil's stake in West
Qurna Phase 1.
Iraq's oil ministry has told Lukoil it favoured a
Russian-Chinese pairing to develop West Qurna Phase 1, which
became available in November when ExxonMobil said it was to
withdraw from the $50 billion project.
Qurna is part of a portfolio of foreign projects assembled
by Lukoil to offset declines in its home in western Siberia, the
Soviet-era oil heartland where companies are struggling to
maintain output with prevailing conventional technology.
Lukoil, Russia's No. 2 oil company and the largest energy
producer outside state control, has lobbied for access to new
hydrocarbon provinces, particularly in the Arctic offshore zones
which could contain vast new fields and are the legal preserve
of state companies Gazprom and Rosneft.
Alekperov was speaking in the northern gas industry hub of
Novy Urengoi, where industry leaders were meeting Prime Minister
Kommersant daily reported on Tuesday they would discuss
access to Arctic offshore zones for private companies, favoured
by the Natural Resources Ministry, which controls licensing of
hydrocarbon deposits, and opposed by Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, an
ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Melissa Akin;
Editing by Dan Lalor)