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Lukoil: All accusations are absolutely groundless. We will not leave from Romania

14 July 2015

Officials from Moscow of Lukoil oil group reject accusations by Romanian prosecutors on money laundering, tax evasion and Petrotel-Lukoil de-capitalization.

Lukoil representative, Thomas Mueller, Vice President for Refining, Petrochemicals and Gas Processing, insisted in a videoconference Tuesday that the accounting practices used by the subsidiary in Romania are legal, comply with the best practices of Lukoil companies from other countries, and are similar to practices of several important western oil companies, such as Chevron and BP.

The practices are legal, states are pressing for additional revenue

Asked about the reasons for which Lukoil came to the attention of authorities, although such practices are claimed to be legal, the company official could not explain why it happened, but he declared that it is visible the economy has a difficult road ahead and the refining industry has problems making profit. Therefore, states face lower revenue and can grasp the pressure from them as action done in order to bring more revenue to the central budget.

Offer to sell the refinery in Ploieşti

Lukoil reiterated the intention to remain active in Romania, where the general business goes well. However, after recent events the oil group received an offer from a company in Romania to sell the refinery in Ploiești operated by Petrotel-Lukoil.

Such an offer comes at a time where most Europeans are closing their refinery due to low margins or operating at a loss, said Thomas Mueller. The company name or the amount proposed for transaction was not specified.

The actions of authorities do not affect investment plans at the refinery, since the crude oil processing unit in Ploiești recently passed through a general modernization, said Thomas Mueller.

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