Press TV – Russia’s oil giant Lukoil says companies from Iran as well as Azerbaijan and Algeria have voiced interest in purchasing its ISAB refinery in Italy.
Reports quoted Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov as saying that the companies were the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Azerbaijan’s SOCAR and Algeria’s Sonatrach.
The move was earlier said to have been in line with the Russian company’s plans to review its overseas operations.
Alekperov emphasized that there have been a huge demand from companies that wanted to purchase the ISAB refinery in Italy’s Sicily. He added that his company would consider all bids.
The official further said the refinery was in a good shape and that all the required investments to update it had already been made.
Alekperov said Lukoil was not in a rush to sell the ISAB and that negotiations with all bidders would be carried out to identify the best proposal.
The official had in September said several American refiners, as well as a company from the Persian Gulf region and also an international investment fund had voiced interest in purchasing the refinery.
Last June, Lukoil announced that it intended to continue refining Iranian oil at the same refinery.
The media in Moscow quoted Alekperov as saying at the time that his company planned to resume refining of Iranian oil at the ISAB to replace Russian Urals brand oil.
“Today, we want to return it [Iran’s oil] there [to the ISAB], because at the moment Urals is more expensive than Iranian oil. Today, we are placing it at other refineries very effectively,” Sputnik news agency quoted the official as saying.
He added that oil from Iran was the best option for the ISAB, because it was designed for 70 percent of heavy oil from Iran and 30 percent of light oil from Libya.