Gazprom Oil Buys Lubricants Plant in Italy

Gazprom is hoping to expand its presence in Europe.

The oil arm of Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom said on April 22 it had bought a lubricants plant in Italy amid a push to expand the company's presence in Europe.

Gazprom Neft has bought the plant, based in the Italian city of Bari on the southern Adriatic, from Chevron Global Energy. The plant has the capacity to produce 30,000 tons of oils and 6,000 tons of lubricants per year.

"We have got a good production site in Europe, modern technologies and new markets," Gazprom Neft chief executive Alexander Dyukov said.

The company said it hoped there would be "marketing and production synergy" with Serbian refiner NIS, in which Gazprom Neft bought a majority stake earlier this year.

The Bari plant produces 150 types of oils for the transport and drilling industries, said the statement, adding that Chevron Italia -- the company that operates the plant -- will be renamed Gazrpomneft Lubricants Italia.

The deal follows a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Bari in March during which he praised friendship between Russia and Italy and received a symbolic key to a Russian Orthodox church.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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