Lukoil's Bulgaria refinery resumes operations

3rd August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Bulgaria's Lukoil Neftochim refinery has resumed operations, the company said Wednesday, after it almost halted production over a licencing row.

"All installations have resumed operations and are gradually returning to their normal technological regime," the plant's press officer Svetla Kraleva told AFP.

Kraleva could not specify when the refinery, located in the eastern city of Burgas, would be back to its full capacity of 142,000 barrels per day.

The refinery, the only one in Bulgaria and owned by Russia's giant Lukoil, had been working at minimal levels and was preparing to halt production after the customs agency stripped it last week of two key licences necessary for its operations.

The move was prompted by the refinery's failure to install additional meters and other equipment to link its production and storage facilities to the Bulgarian revenue agency and allow for better monitoring of the amounts of crude and fuel entering and exiting the refinery.

Sofia's administrative court however ruled on Monday that Neftochim could temporarily resume working until the court decided on the lawfulness of the licence withdrawal.

The case will be examined starting on August 31.

The customs agency, which had sealed Neftochim's two tax warehouses, effectively blocking the refinery's work, said it had appealed the court's decision to postpone the halt in production.

But customs chief Vanyo Tanov, who initially threatened to keep fighting for the refinery's closure, agreed to let Neftochim continue operations.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article