Lukoil Beats Valero to a 45% Stake in Dutch Refinery

Lukoil will expand Russian energy companies’ push into the European market with a $725 million bid for a 45% stake in a Dutch refinery owned by France’s Total.

The stake, previously owned by Dow Chemical, was slated to be purchased by US-based Valero until Total exercised its pre-emptive rights to purchase the stake and simultaneously agreed to sell the holding to Lukoil. Total will keep a 55% stake in the refinery.

The transaction coincided with President Medvedev’s visit to the Netherlands.

Total officials explained the last-minute switch to Reuters:

“Russian crude oil, for which LUKOIL is one of the major suppliers, represents one of the main sources of the Vlissingen refinery,” Europe’s largest refiner, which retains a 55 percent stake in the plant, said in a statement.

“More broadly, this type of crude oil represents a significant portion for the supply of Total’s European refineries.”