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Italy could nationalize one of the largest


ISAB Lukoil refinery, in southeastern Sicily. Photo source: ISAB Lukoil.

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The Italian Minister of Ecological Transition said on Saturday that nationalization is one of the options considered for a Lukoil refinery in Italy, based in the island of Sicily, in the context of European Union sanctions against Russia, Reuters reports, quoted by News.ro.

At the end of May, European Union leaders agreed to a gradual embargo, with some exemptions, on Russian oil, and a ban on imports at sea could severely affect the refinery.

“There are several options under study, one is something like nationalization, another is the intervention of an external buyer, for example,” said Minister Roberto Cingolani at an event organized by the newspaper Il Foglio, without detailing who could be this buyer.

The ISAB refinery represents approximately 20% of the Italian refining capacity. It has about 1,000 workers and used to buy 30-40% of Russia’s raw material, with the rest coming from international markets.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, it has had to buy almost all of Lukoil’s crude oil because international banks no longer offer it credit.

In April, sources told Reuters that the temporary nationalization of ISAB is an option the government is considering when it comes to sanctions on Russian oil.