MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. Russia's Lukoil oil company does not plan to withdraw from Romania or change the management structure of the local oil refinery, Lukoil Vice President for oil refining Thomas Mueller said Tuesday at the company’s press conference on oil processing, petrochemistry and gas refining.
"We don’t plan to leave Romania. We are going to continue to work here," he said.
At the same time, he said that Lukoil received an offer to purchase the Petrotel refinery in Romania, but has no plans to sell it. "We do not put the plant for sale. It is weird to receive an offer when we are not going selling it," he said.
Mueller explained that the proposal came from a private company, but as Lukoil does not plan to sell the plant, the proposal has not been reviewed.
He stressed that Lukoil is ready to compromise with Romania on the situation with the refinery. "We want to do everything possible so that the situation is resolved. It may be a misunderstanding, so we are ready for the dialogue," he said.
Mueller also said that the management structure of the oil refinery in Romania is complies with the way the companies like Shell and ExxonMobil manage their oil refineries. "In that regard we do not plan to change anything," he added.
According to him, the company contributed $6 bln in tax to Romanian budget, thus, the accusations of fiscal evasion is "manipulating facts."
As TASS previously reported, the prosecutor's office at the Court of Appeal Ploiesti, Romania in early July accused Lukoil subsidiary Petrotel-Lukoil of money laundering and the tax evasion. Lukoil categorically denies these allegations.
According to the company’s report, "Lukoil categorically denies the allegations of money laundering and tax evasion against Petrotel-Lukoil and its employees. Lukoil operates in Romania since 1998 and is one of the largest energy companies in the market of this country. Lukoil is a conscientious payer to the state budget and supplier of quality products for the Romanian consumers."
Lukoil also notes that Petrotel-Lukoil provides about a 1,000 jobs in the region. In the last 9 years roughly $540 mln was invested in upgrading the refinery.
The Romanian media reported the arrest of the Lukoil subsidiary’s property in Romania in the framework of the investigation. It was also noted that the activities of five Petrotel Lukoil SA employees, including two Russian citizens are investigated within the framework of the case of alleged damage of roughly 2 bln euro.