Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 9 January 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Russia’s Lukoil Seeks to Sell Assets in Romania, Moldova Amid EU Sanctions
As reported, Russian energy company Lukoil could sell its businesses in Romania and Moldova amid a new package of sanctions the EU introduced back in early December 2022.
The decision comes amid sanctions imposed by the EU on Russian oil companies that came into force on December 5, 2022, which also affect Lukoil’s activity. Russia’s biggest private oil firm is seeking to quit Romania and Moldova. Lukoil Moldova owns about 20 percent of the retail fuel market in the country. The company handled about 40 percent of diesel imports and about 33.5 percent of gasoline imports to Moldova. Lukoil owns the largest network of gas stations in Moldova – 105, and in 2021 these made a profit of about 60 million Moldovan lei, or about 3 million euros. Lukoil is the third largest player in the fuel sales market in Romania, estimated to be worth around 13 billion lei annually, or about 2.6 billion euros. Its net profit in Romania increased by 7 percent in 2021, to 160 million lei, or about 32 million euros, up from 149 million lei in 2020. Lukoil owns about 315 gas stations in Romania, a refinery in Ploiesti, and has nearly 3,000 employees in the country. Lukoil’s businesses include also a wind farm in Romania and oil storage facilities in both countries. Who might take over Lukoil’s assets in Romania and Moldova? Likely buyers of the businesses in the two countries would include the Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, the most significant player at the European level, or Kazakh group KazMunaiGaz, which in both countries owns a network of Rompetrol gas stations. Shell sold its Russian assets to Lukoil – 114 petrol stations and a lubricant plant in Torzhok – in May 2022. Lukoil’s decision to sell assets in Romania and Moldova is yet another step in the company’s policy to avoid sanctions, after Vagit Alekperov resigned from the position of CEO.
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