Serbia: Dev strategy for Oil company JV with GazpromNeft confirmed with government, claims Minister Mihajlovic

8. January 2014. / News Serbia Energy

The Serbian Government’s document on the strategy and development plans of the NIS is aligned with that company major owners (GazpromNeft) and the government should adopt it confirmed Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlovic. Despite the differences and hard talks which minister Mihajlovic had with Russia Gazprom on gas supply and South Stream deals, the future development strategy of Oil company of Serbia ( majority owned by GazpromNeft) is aligned with all interested parties claims Minister.

“The Russian side is satisfied, and we agreed with them that thing and finished in a week,” said Mihajlovic.

The Government of Serbia adopted the Strategy Paper and the development plans of NIS 9 August this year, in which the Russian majority shareholders of NIS had an objection, because it was not previously agreed with the management of the company.

Minister of Energy explained that it could not be said for the new document that therein is a revised paragraph of Serbian side, but, as she specified, it is more a matter of vocabulary used and the way in which something is presented. She said that one or two things remained to be agreed within the Government of Serbia in order that document can be adopted.

“Srbijagas would like that its debts to NIS go to the national debt. We’re not in the mood for it, because our public debt is already high enough,” she said.

Mihajlovic said that the goal is to solve the debt issues all together, which exist between Sbijagas-NIS and in general in the petrochemical complex, adding that it is not just one debt.

We talk about the solution of these issues of debts with the Ministries of Finance and Economy, and when we agree all, the document about NIS will be re-approved by the government, said the minister.

“We promised to the Russian partner that we will try to complete this document by the end of the year at one of the sessions of the government”, added the Minister.

She noted that the document, which the Russian majority shareholders of NIS had objected to, because it was not previously agreed with the management of the company, related to how to behave Serbian shareholder in NIS, which is a minority, but a significant shareholder in the company.

“We have to be careful and to treat with due regard to what is ours, therefore the Ministry of Energy made this document,” said Mihajlovic.

She expressed satisfaction with the fact that the state of Serbia will therefore have rules by which those who represent Serbia in NIS should behave, because before, she said, not much attention was paid to our 29 percent stake in NIS and “I would not like to reduce that percentage.” Serbia’s interest is that NIS still develops and expands regionally and therefore it is good for us as well as a shareholder, said Mihajlovic.

She pointed out that the Government of Serbia and the Assembly of shareholders of NIS, support the modernization of refineries in Novi Sad, which NIS plans to implement, as well as the project of deep oil refining in Pancevo.

“There is no reason not to be for that, and it is especially important for Serbia that these refineries work. These two refineries are located in a good geographical position and interest of state of Serbia is that both refineries work” said Mihajlovic.

She pointed out that we should together resolve debt issues in the petrochemical sector, restructuring Petrohemija, Srbijagas and of support NIS in the further modernization.

Petrohemija need NIS, and the state too, but it is necessary to invest in Petrohemija, she said, and interviews should be made by March with all potential stakeholdes about Petrohemija. Until then, NIS may consider too if they could invest in Petrohemija, she said.

“I hope we can all be satisfied by the issue of Petrochemistry” said Mihajlovic.

Source; Serbia Energy/MERZ

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