Bulgaria to terminate Lukoil’s concession agreement for Rosenets oil terminal

The Bulgarian parliament has voted in favor of a legislative act to terminate the concession agreement benefiting the Russian oil group Lukoil for the Rosenets oil terminal near the port of Burgas. Bulgarian lawmakers hope that this decision will expedite the country’s accession to the Schengen area, according to a report by Reuters. The Rosenets port is the sole oil terminal on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, and it had been under Lukoil’s control since 2011 when the Russian company obtained a 35-year concession.

The normative act, which received a favorable vote from 144 out of 240 deputies in the Sofia Parliament on Friday, stipulates that the concession agreement will be terminated within a week. The Rosenets oil terminal is essential for Bulgaria’s only refinery, Neftochim Burgas, which is capable of processing 196,000 barrels of crude oil per day and is also owned by Lukoil. Earlier this year, Bulgarian parliamentarians passed a decision allowing the Sofia Executive to assume control of the refinery’s operations for a year.

The proposal presented to the Sofia legislature by parties such as GERB, We Continue Change, Democratic Bulgaria, and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms argued that ending the concession agreement would prevent Russia from using Bulgarian facilities to finance its war in Ukraine. Additionally, it would ensure compliance with EU sanctions, thereby increasing Bulgaria’s chances of joining the Schengen area, explained Kiril Petkov, co-chair of the Continue the Change movement.

In response to the parliamentary decision, the Lukoil Neftochim refinery issued a press release announcing its intention to seek legal protection against the ruling.

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