Bulgaria strips Russia-owned oil refinery of licence

22nd April 2013, Comments 0 comments

Bulgaria's customs agency said Monday it has stripped the country's sole oil refinery, Russia-owned Lukoil Neftochim Burgas, of a key licence necessary for its distribution and sales.

The decision affected one of the refinery's several so-called tax warehouses and was because of a failure to install certain metering equipment and after the discovery of detours allowing fuel to pass undetected, the agency said.

Similar detours were found last week at the refinery's main crude and fuels port in Burgas on the Black Sea, prompting the sacking of the local customs agency chief and three more officials.

The company, which was stripped of other licences for several months between July 2011 and January 2012, slammed the latest move as "administrative arbitrariness".

Experts said Lukoil, Bulgaria's leading producer and supplier of fuel, as well as one of its biggest petrol station operators, would now have to transport all its fuels by road and rail.

© 2013 AFP

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