SOCAR expands its presence in oil products market of Ukraine

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 12 /Trend E.Ismayilov/

The number of filling stations under the brand of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) will reach 100 by the beginning of 2013, head of SOCAR in Ukraine Elchin Mammadov said in an interview to RBC-Ukraine.

He noted that currently there are 30 stations under SOCAR brand on the territory of Ukraine.

Regarding withdrawal of TNK-BP from the Ukrainian market and the possibilities of acquiring the company's filling stations, Mammadov said the purchase of attractive assets is considering, regardless of to whom they belong.

"We do not have clear priority in the search of assets - whether it is TNC or other network. We have the same attitude to the staff - we are ready to work with professionals from different companies, including those of the multinational corporation," Mammadov said.

Speaking about why SOCAR does not deliver and processes Azerbaijani oil in Ukraine, and sells European gasoline, Mammadov said it is due to the technological characteristics of the Ukrainian oil refineries.

"Since our stations have already being operated, one way for us - to acquire high-quality fuel of Euro-4, the Euro-5 standard at the refineries in Lithuania, Hungary, Belarus, Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. In the future, if we have own processing in Ukraine, we will refine Azerbaijani oil of course, as very high quality oil products can be produced from it," he said.

Addressing the possibility of self-production of petroleum products in Ukraine, Mammadov did not rule out the possibility of acquisition or construction of a refinery in this country.

"Every major oil company should have its own refinery. Not rule out that the time will come when we decide to buy refineries. It may be an existing plant, or we will build a new one," Mammadov said.

Non-self propelled refueling vessel Baku-1 under the brand SOCAR was launched since August last year, which means entering to a new business segment for the refueling of small and medium-sized vessels.

"The consumption of fuel by ships mostly accounts for the summer months. One of Kiev's Yacht Club approached us with a proposal to place a bunker close to the area of the club," Mammadov said.

He noted that another floating gas station will be launched in Odessa this season.

It is planned to implement work in three directions. The first direction - traditional SOCAR stations, the second - automatic filling stations SOCAR Rapid. Refueling facilities Nano by SOCAR will also operate, named in honor of the brand of fuel, which will differ slightly in design and concept.

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