Lukoil announces $100 billion investment project

Russia's biggest oil producer OAO Lukoil will invest $100 billion over the next decade to boost output and increase refining capacity, including possible foreign acquisitions, the company announced. In a statement released Tuesday, Lukoil said it would seek to double crude oil production from its current 1.8 million barrels a day. Spending an average $10 billion a year would put Lukoil well above its Russian oil company peers in terms of capital expenditures, Dow Jones Newswires reported. The announcement comes as Lukoil faces growing competition from state-owned oil company OAO Rosneft, which is seeking to become Russia's top oil producer within the next few years. Rosneft currently produces about 1.6 million barrels a day. Analysts said Lukoil appeared to be placing a bet that oil prices will stay high in the coming years, since demand would need to remain strong to supply the company with the necessary cash flow.