Italy refiner Saras confirms 'contact' with Russia’s Gazprom

27 January 2011 17:50  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Italian refiner Saras said on Thursday that it is in preliminary contact with Russia’s Gazprom over "industrial cooperation" between the two firms.

Saras operates Italy’s 300,000 bbl/day Sarroch refinery on Sardinia. The refinery, which accounts for about 15% of Italy’s total refining capacity, is integrated with petrochemicals production.

Saras said it had been asked by Italian stock market regulators for clarification after its share price rose sharply on a press report that cited comments attributed to Gazprom Neft's head of refining and petrochemicals development.

The news comes as Shell, ConocoPhillips and other oil firms are looking to sell or shut down some of their European refineries.

Russia's oil firms are seen as potential buyers. In October last year, Russian oil major Rosneft said it had bought a 50% stake in the Germany-based Ruhr Oel refining-petrochemicals joint venture.

In related industry news, the 500,000 bbl/day HOVENSA refinery in St Croix (US Virgin Islands) said this week it would permanently cut capacity by 30% in response to difficult market conditions.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653



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