ROME: Russian oil giant Lukoil said Monday that it had reached a deal to sell its refinery in Sicily to a Cyprus-based fund, pending approval from the Italian government.
The ISAB refinery, one of Europe's largest, was in danger of ceasing operations because of the EU embargo on the import of Russian crude oil by sea amid the Ukraine invasion, which came into force on December 5, reports AFP.
Lukoil aims to sell the site to G.O.I. Energy, an arm of the ARGUS New Energy Fund, which has agreed a partnership with commodities giant Trafigura to operate the complex.
"The transaction is planned to be completed by the end of March 2023 upon fulfilment of certain conditions... including receipt of necessary approvals of competent authorities, particularly the Italian government," Lukoil said.
The refinery is subject to the so-called "golden power" regulations that allow the Italian government to impose conditions on the purchase of goods and services deemed of strategic importance to the country.
It has an annual refining capacity of 10 million tons of crude oil and supplies about 20 percent of Italy's needs.