site.btaPM Warns Disturbances in Lukoil Neftochim Burgas Threaten to Undermine Its Value

PM Warns Disturbances in Lukoil Neftochim Burgas Threaten to Undermine Its Value
PM Warns Disturbances in Lukoil Neftochim Burgas Threaten to Undermine Its Value
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov at the annual awards of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on December 5, 2023 (BTA Photo)

Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov commented on Lukoil Group's potential sale of the business here Tuesday, which Lukoil Neftochim Burgas said in a press release earlier on Tuesday. After attending the annual awards of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Denkov told reporters that the company's value will obviously drop, if its performance gets disrupted, which might be of interest to potential participants in the tender.

Also on Tuesday, MP Delyan Dobrev said that his party GERB and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms would move for ending Lukoil's exception from an EU ban on the use of Russian oil on January 1, 2024.

Denkov said that the problem with a possible exit from the Bulgarian market would be whether there would be non-Russian oil, which Bulgarian petrol stations could use freely. If fuel prices were raised, it would be because of a supply bottleneck. "That is what we have been trying to avoid all along in order to have a smooth transition," the Prime Minister said.

Asked whether Lukoil's press release was an attempt of a threat or a bluff, Denkov said he could not say. He said, however, that different parties are interested in the situation. Denkov expressed concern that "[...] some of the actions here may be attempts by someone to disrupt Lukoil's operations in order to lower its price. I cannot rule out such a possibility".

While Denkov could not name specific parties that could benefit from lowering Lukoil's value, he was adamant that Finance Minister Assen Vassilev's interview for the Financial Times with the sale of the company.

Regarding the derogation, Denkov said it has been clear for several months that the government is trying to calm the fuel market and to shorten the derogation as much as possible without posing risks. "Dobrev does not care about the possibility of risks," the Prime Minister said and added: "Yesterday [on Monday] I looked at the prices at petrol stations. They were lower compared to one or two months ago". Denkov concluded that it is alright for one to play with risks, as long as they are willing to bear the potential consequences.

/NF/

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By 14:02 on 03.03.2024 Today`s news

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