Vagit Alekperov

Conoco buys 7.6% stake in Russian oil giant Lukoil

MOSCOW - ConocoPhillips will buy 7.6 percent of OAO Lukoil from Russia for $1.99 billion and might increase that stake, expanding its access to the world's largest oil- and gas-producing country as energy prices surge.

ConocoPhillips might boost its Lukoil stake to 20 percent in two to three years, Chief Executive Officer James J. Mulva said.

Russian oil output has risen 47 percent since 1999 as Lukoil, a top Russian crude producer, and other companies have rebuilt an industry that collapsed with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.

ConocoPhillips follows Britain's BP PLC and Total SA of France in buying stakes in Russian energy companies.

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