Hungary, Croatia: Gov to halt closure of MOL INA Sisak refinery

, SEE Energy News

Croatian Minister of Economy Tomislav Panenic announced that he will seek the suspension of activities related to the transportation of crude oil from Sisak and closure of the local oil refinery.

Minister Panenic said that one of the key questions regarding the management of the Croatian oil company INA is related to strategic decisions on the modernization and continued operation of oil refineries in Rijeka and Sisak. He said that he was recently informed about the order of the Executive Director of Refining and Marketing at INA Bengt Oldsberg which initiates crude oil transportation from Sisak to Rijeka and plans for the closure of Sisak refinery during 2017.

He stressed that such order has not been previously discussed with the representatives of the Croatian state at INA’s Management and Supervisory Boards, and that he will personally seek the suspension of this order.

In mid-March, HQ for the defense of Sisak refinery said that they are concerned that MOL will start exporting crude oil produced in Croatia which would also mean the suspension of operation of the refinery. They base their concern on the alleged trial loading of domestic crude oil in railway tanks on 2 March, which is considered as the first step in closure of the refinery. The management of the refinery was supposed to present production plan for this year to Worker’s Council on 15 March, but the meeting was postponed for unknown reasons. The management confirmed earlier that the production plan for this year envisages the processing of 750,000 tons of crude oil, which is slightly more than in last year, but even this quantity would keep procession facilities at Sisak refinery operational only for four months in 2016.

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has 49.08 % of INA’s shares, while the Croatian state has 44.84 % stake in the company, transmits