Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is interested in taking over the majority of shares in the Serbian oil company NIS.
SOCAR is reportedly in contact with the Serbian government as well as with the majority owner of NIS, the Russian state-owned Gazpromneft.
Since the beginning of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Moscow has been subject to economic sanctions by Western countries, including those related to the fuel and gas trade. This raises the fear of how NIS can supply its Pančevo refinery with crude oil via the territory of the European Union, writes Demostat.
The EU has banned the sale and transport of crude oil on its territory to companies from third countries whose majority owner comes from Russia. This is the case with the Petroleum Industry of Serbia (NIS), in which the Russian state company Gazpromneft owns a 51% share, while the rest is in the hands of the Serbian government. However, a few days ago, there were media reports that the EU had decided to exempt Serbia from these sanctions against Russian companies, which means that NIS could still be supplied regularly and operate normally.
Baku-based SOCAR is one of the world’s largest producers of fossil fuels. In addition to oil, the company also exploits gas both on land and in the part of the Caspian Sea that belongs to Azerbaijan.
It owns two oil refineries and a natural gas plant in the country. It also owns a chain of petrol stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland and employs around 61,000 people. SOCAR is the largest shareholder with a 58% share in the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and has a 20% share in the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
This post is also available in: Italiano