Archive for March 12th, 2013

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Sold – Odessa Oil Refinery (A crude and murky business)

March 12, 2013

Back in October 2011, I mentioned that the LukOil terminal in Odessa had just been put up for sale.

It has now sold.  At least it is sold subject to contract exchange.

The new owners are an umbrella company called VETEK LLC based in Kyiv.  VETEK was registered as a company in Kyiv on 28th February 2013 and is headed by a chap named Andrey Koshel.

VETEK LLC, appears to be a holding/umbrella company for Gaz Ukraine – fronted by Serhiy Kurchenko, the Kharkiv lawyer, owner of Metalist Kharkiv FC, and friend of Olexander Yanukovych, son of the current president of Ukraine.

If that seems simple, Gas Ukraine is indeed a holding/umbrella company for a number of companies and has its head office in Simferopol Crimea, and who owns what behind the front of Serhiy Kurchenko is far more difficult to determine.  Gas Ukraine, naturally, is an importer of gas, LNG, oil and owns a rapidly expanding empire of several hundred petrol stations dotted around the country.

It also appears that Odessa refinery was not the first choice acquisition for VETEK/Gaz Ukraine – It originally went after the Lysychansk refinery owned by TNK/BP who subsequently removed it from sale due to it being an asset it could charge Rosneft for during its take over.

Anyway, the net result is that whomever is behind VETEK LLC and Andrey Koshel – or should we say whomever is behind Serhiy Kurchenko who fronts Gaz Ukraine, now own the Odessa refinery – which has not operated since 2010.

In fact the only Ukrainian refinery to operate in the past 3 years has been Ukrtatnefta – who I mentioned exactly one month ago – embroiled in nefarious circumstances – naturally.

So, it will be interesting to see whether the new owners of the Odessa refinery will make it the second of the six existing oil terminals to be operating in Ukraine, or whether Ukrtatneft will be allowed to continue as the only refinery in the nation to be active.

Smelly? – Maybe it’s just the gas!

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