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Lukoil in Aramco crude talks, swaps with Iran

02 Jun 2017 13:09 (+01:00 GMT)
Lukoil in Aramco crude talks, swaps with Iran

St Petersburg, 2 June (Argus) — Russian private sector oil company Lukoil is in talks with Saudi Aramco over possible purchase of Saudi crude for Lukoil's refineries in Europe, company president Vagit Alekperov said on the sidelines of St. Petersburg Economic Forum. And it has started a swap deal with Iran that could see Iranian crude go to two Lukoil refineries.

Lukoil owns the 320,000 b/d Isab refinery in Sicily, Italy. It has been test running various crudes at Isab in a bid to improve the quality of output and increase efficiency of processing. According to Alekperov, the company is interested in buying Saudi crude but needs to carry out quality tests first. By changing the crudes run at Isab Lukoil has managed to improve the efficiency of the plant's operations and return it to profits.

The firm also has a stake in the 150,000 b/d Zeeland refinery at Flushing in the Netherlands. It owns the 50,000 b/d Ploiești plant in Romania and the 176,000 b/d Burgas refinery in Bulgaria.

Alekperov also said that Lukoil has started crude and oil products swaps with Iran.

"We have signed the contract with Iran and we buy crude and products. We started in April," Alekperov said. Lukoil said in 2016 that it was ready to ship products to Iran through the 2mn t/yr Astrakhan terminal in return for Iranian crude for Isab refinery on Sicily and possibly for Burgas.