Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

LUkoil Talks on Refinery Extended

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgaria's Privatization Agency said Friday it had extended by 10 days negotiations with Russia's LUKoil arm in Bulgaria for acquisition of a 58 percent stake in the Neftochim oil refinery.

"As negotiations between the Privatization Agency and LUKoil Petrol Bulgaria are continuing, the status of exclusive buyer has been extended until Oct. 10," the agency said in a statement.

In August, LUKoil Petrol Bulgaria was chosen as preferred buyer for the refinery's majority stake, and the company carried out its own evaluation of the financial state of the indebted refinery.

Local media said LUKoil has offered $107 million for the stake but might pay less if Neftochim's debts turned out to be more than initially declared. Officials say the refinery's debts amounted to between $400 and $500 million.

The head of LUKoil, Valentin Zlatev, was reported as saying in February that the Balkans, and Bulgaria in particular, were considered prospective markets for its products.