MOSCOW, December 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Lukoil will become the sole owner of the Sicily-based oil refinery ISAB upon closing a deal about the purchase of the enterprise before yearend, an official of the seller-company ERG and a source at Lukoil told the newspaper Izvestia.
Prior to the closure of the deal, Lukoil owned 80% of shares in the Italian oil refinery. The other 20% the company acquires at a price of about €400 million, which is comparable to the market price of the asset.
"That the sides reached agreement on the buying out by the Russian oil company of the remaining 20% of securities of the Sicily-based oil refinery was officially announced by the Italian ERG way back in October," the paper writes.
Lukoil stated earlier that on December 30, at a meeting of the Board of Directors, an approval of deals would be announced "in an interested way". The Lukoil press service did not comment on the fact of closure of the deal, saying that the Company would announce that officially.
ISAB consists of two enterprises with a capacity of 16 million tonnes a year, which produce kerosene and diesel fuel. Andrei Polishchuk, an analyst of Reiffeisenbank, related, "There may be several scenarios of managing the asset. One thing is only clear that it will be difficult to sell it". His opinion is that "it remains to lower the cost of fuel processing, raising energy efficiency of the refinery and cutting spending on employees".
"An increase in the refinery's capacity appears to be superfluous so far owing to the lack of an increased demand in Europe for the output of the enterprise. However, Lukoil has available plans to process Iraqi oil, specifically that from the West Qurna-2 oilfield, which is to be activated next year," the analyst pointed out.
A Lukoil official told the paper that the Company was unable to refuse to buy out 20% of the oil refinery assets because ''the contract for entering into the capital of the Sicilian oil refinery implied a binding conditions for buying out the refinery’s shares provided a respective offer is made by the ERG".