Russia's Lukoil sells filling stations in Ukraine

31st July 2014, Comments 0 comments

Russia's Lukoil said Thursday it had reached preliminary agreement to sell its network of filling stations in Ukraine, days after radical nationalists there tried to extort fuel from the company.

The price for the sale of the roughly 240 filling stations and six petroleum tank farms to Austria's AMIC Energy Management GmbH was not disclosed.

"The sale of the filling station network and petroleum tank farms in Ukraine to AMIC will help Lukoil optimise its asset structure and distribution network management system in Eastern Europe," Lukoil Vice President Vadim Vorobyov was quoted as saying in a company statement.

Lukoil, the largest privately-held Russian oil company, did not say whether the sale was linked to the crisis in Ukraine and recent difficulties in its operations.

Earlier this week members of the Ukrainian nationalist group Right Sector blocked several Lukoil stations in western Ukraine in a bid to extort fuel supplies for the Ukrainian military, according to the company and OSCE international monitors operating in Ukraine.

The sale comes as G7 nations warned Wednesday they may slap even tougher sanctions on Russia for destabilising Ukraine as the first major sector-wide measures targeting the country's economy were introduced.

Lukoil has not been hit by targeted sanctions slapped on a number of state-held companies or firms involved in the unrest in Ukraine.

Lukoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov said last month, even before the United States and European Union decided to push ahead with sector-wide measures, that "sanctions have repercussions for all (Russian) companies".

In addition to being a major player in crude oil production, Lukoil operates refineries in six countries and has wholesale and retail fuel sale operations in more than 30.

© 2014 AFP

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