After denying accusations of money laundering, tax evasion and Petrotel-Lukoil de-capitalization, Lukoil stated its intention to remain active in Romania, where the general business goes well.
„We do not have plans to close the refinery, but if the seizure comes into action, we might have to,” said Thomas Mueller, vice president for refining, Lukoil.
However, the oil group received an offer from a company in Romania to buy the refinery in Ploiesti, at a time where most Europeans are closing their refineries due to low margins or operating at a loss, added Thomas Mueller. The company name or the amount proposed for transaction were not specified.
The company also said the refinery’s operations would not be affected by the investigation.
Romanian prosecutors seized Lukoil assets worth up to EUR 2 billion as part of an investigation which started last year. They seized accounts held with Dutch and British banks, share premiums as well as Lukoil Europe Holdings Bvatrium Holland shares in the Romanian company.
The actions come as Romanian prosecutors are investigating accusations of mis-using company credit and money laundering, draining the local business of funds. Prosecutors also said they had expanded their investigation to include the head of the local Petrotel-Lukoil S.A. business and five other employees, including two Russian citizens.