Italy minister says nationalisation an option for Lukoil refinery

Rome: Italy’s ecological transition minister on Saturday said nationalisation was among the options for Lukoil’s (LKOH.MM) Italian refinery based in the island of Sicily.

In late May, European Union leaders agreed a gradual embargo, with some exemptions, of Russian crude and the ban on seaborne imports could severely impact the refinery.

“There are several options under study, one is something like nationalisation…another one is that an external buyer intervenes, for example,” Minister Roberto Cingolani told an event organised by Il Foglio newspaper, without elaborating on who this buyer could be.

The ISAB refinery accounts for around 20% of Italian refining capacity. It employs around 1,000 workers and used to buy 30-40% of its feedstock from Russia, with the rest coming from international markets.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, though, it has had to source nearly all its crude from Lukoil because international banks are no longer providing it with credit.

In April, sources said a temporary nationalisation of ISAB was one option the government was considering in case of sanctions on Russian oil. read more