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Lukoil, Petrol venture to sell oil products across Balkans

OAO Lukoil, Russia's largest oil producer, agreed to form a venture with Slovenia's Petrol d.d. to sell gasoline across the Balkans. Petrol will hold 51% and Lukoil 49% in the new company, the Russian company said in an e-mailed statement 28 August. „We're interested in expanding our presence on the markets of the Balkan countries,” Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov said in the statement. „Here a high level of synergy with existing Lukoil assets in Eastern Europe is attainable.” Lukoil, also present in the United States, the Middle East and Central Asia, is Russia's largest refiner. Like other energy companies such as gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, Lukoil is looking to expand into the retail and marketing business beyond Russia's borders. The Slovenian venture will probably combine Petrol's filling stations in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia with shares in Lukoil's units in Serbia and Macedonia, the statement said. The companies plan to establish the venture by the end of the year, Lukoil said. (Bloomberg)