Wednesday, August 13, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (August 13,2008) - With the entry of Lukoil, the Russian oil giant, into the Bosnian motor-fuel market, nothing will be the same. After probing the pulse, the Russian oil company, which owns 1.2 per cent of the world's total oil reserves, is going to sell its fuel in Bosnia and, to the delight of motorists, do so at prices lower than the competition's.

Although it is too soon to speak about the ultimate look of the price of Lukoil's fuels, Alen Hrkovic, the Russian company's commercial director in Bosnia, asserts that it will certainly be cheaper, because it comes directly from the oil field to the final consumer.

"We are still in the phase of testing the market, for which we have big plans. We do not have marketing middlemen in our chain, and it is thus logical that the price of our fuel is lower, because it comes from the primary source," Hrkovic observes.

The Russian oilmen are working out a strategy that would attract a large number of motorists in Bosnia to their gas stations - which they have yet to buy - by means of dumping prices.

Along with sales, Lukoil is entering the Bosnian market with major ambitions, which include a continuation of exploring for oil reserves in the southern and northern Bosnia.

"We have an interest in searching for oil reserves, which, according to earlier surveys, Bosnia possesses. Other than an analysis the American company Amoco prepared, we presently have no new specifics about Bosnia's potential," Director Hrkovic claims.

The majority of the documents connected with the search for oilfields ended up at the Bosanski Brod refinery. Since the refinery's current owner, Russia's Zabnjeft, is owned by Lukoil, it is logical to expect a continuation of exploration under the direction of the Russian oil giant.

Slovenia's Petrol has a large number of gas stations in Bosnia, and, since Lukoil representatives spoke with that company's management recently about the possibility of creating a joint company, it is to be expected that the stations will come under Russian ownership. Petrol and Lukoil signed a memorandum of understanding in October 2006 that is supposed to be the basis for the creation of a joint company in which Petrol is supposed to invest its property, above all its gas stations, of which there were already more than 300 in Bosnia at that moment.

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