Russia’s Lukoil sets aside $9bn for purchases

13 September 2007 18:34  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Russia’s second largest oil company Lukoil said on Thursday it had set aside up to $9bn (€6.5bn) for buying into Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) oil, petrochemicals and downstream retailing businesses.

However, a company spokesman said Lukoil was encountering nationalism and protectionism that might force it to divert the acquisition capital to other regions.

He added that it was fair to speculate that Lukoil might move to pick up minority or majority holdings in companies including Poland’s PKN Orlen oil and petrochemicals group, Orlen-owned petrochemicals group Unipetrol of the Czech Republic and Hungary’s MOL oil, gas and petrochemicals group, because it was scrutinizing the entire sector for opportunities.

The spokesman said that Lukoil could boost profits by diverting oil from its upstream operations into acquired CEE units instead of selling it to CEE entities it had no stakes in.

Lukoil is 20% owned by ConocoPhillips of the US.

($1.00 = €0.72)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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