Oil Giant MOL Reportedly Eyeing Russian Lukoil’s Romanian Assets

The Hungarian multinational company MOL has been in talks with the Russian company Lukoil about a possible acquisition of its interests in Romania, Krónika Online writes. Reportedly, representatives of the Romanian state are “strongly opposed” to the deal.

Referring to the Romanian Economedia, the portal reports that MOL and Lukoil are negotiating the Black Sea concession (Trident) and the Ploiești refinery. MOL Romania representatives did not confirm or deny the report to Economedia and Krónika Online, while Lukoil representatives have so far not responded to journalists’ questions.

However, Economedia sources claim that representatives of the Romanian state are “strongly opposed” to the deal.

“The reason is linked to suspicions about the actions of the government in Budapest, which would have gained a strategically important Black Sea concession on the one hand, and control of a significant slice of the Romanian refining market (around 20 percent) on the other. BNR has previously rejected a similar transaction, namely Hungarian bank OTP Bank’s attempt to buy Banca Românească (Romanian bank -ed.),” the Romanian news portal writes, adding that it is not yet clear whether negotiations between MOL Romania and Lukoil will continue or have been halted.

Photo: Facebook/LUKOIL Romania

Russia’s Lukoil is privately owned. The Bucharest press first reported in January 2023 that the Moscow-based international energy company Lukoil might be preparing to sell its interests in Romania, recalls Krónika Online.

Incidentally, the expansion of the activity would be in line with what Gábor Mozga, MOL’s managing director, told Krónika in March: “my goal is to ensure the further growth of Mol Romania in line with the group’s strategy” and

in the medium and long term, we plan to further strengthen our market presence and strengthen our ties with the local business environment.”

Economedia recalls that Russia’s Lukoil is the concession holder of the Trident gas field in the Black Sea, with estimated reserves of 30 billion cubic meters. Last year, the Romanian National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM), responsible for concessioning the hydrocarbon fields on behalf of the Romanian state, allowed the Russians to continue the exploration program, given that the results of the exploration work so far have not convinced the Russians to start production. Romania’s Romgaz is a 12 percent holder in the Lukoil concession.

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Via, Featured image: Facebook/MOL

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