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Bulgaria may lose its oil processing powers

Bulgaria may lose its oil processing powers and cause energy crisis in surrounding countries. The Union of the Bulgarian Petrochemical Professionals has appealed to the president, government and MPs not to cease prematurely the derogation, granted earlier by Brussels to Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary for the Russian oil until 2024. Such decisions could lead to catastrophic consequences on the energy market of the country and the Balkan region.

Below we attach the full version of this letter.

Dear President!  Dear Prime Minister! Dear President of the National Assembly! 

Dear ladies and gentlemen, members of the 49th National Assembly! 

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Fellow Bulgarians! 

We write to you in great distress and appeal for your support in relation to the intentions of some MPs, to prematurely terminate the opportunity, granted by the EU, to use the envisaged by the design raw materials at a reasonable price at “LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas” AD. The proposal to abolish the derogation, granted by Brussels, which has already been submitted for a vote in the National Assembly, is a direct threat to the well-being of Bulgarian citizens, holds the energy security of our country a hostage to political and corporate interests, and leads to destabilization of the entire Balkan region.  

We are not politicians, but based on our professional competences and experience, we have no doubt that behind this hasty decision are raider interests of certain economic and political organizations. 

LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas AD is the flagship of our economy. The enterprise not only produces all types of motor fuels, but also sits at the beginning of a long chain of producers of goods and services that provide work for hundreds of thousands of Bulgarian families. The plant exports its products to almost all neighboring countries and ensures the balance of the regional energy market, making a huge contribution to the state budget.  

 After the beginning of the war, experts and politicians in Brussels faced a new challenge in the field of energy supplies and came to the conclusion that countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary could use a temporary exemption from oil sanctions. This was in the interest of the countries’ energy security, as well as to ensure continuous growth in the region. 

The attempts of individual Bulgarian politicians to exploit the conflict in Ukraine for their personal and party gains are hypocritical and should not be allowed. Neither LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas AD nor its owner LITASCO are subject to sanctions by the USA, Great Britain or the EU. There are no grounds for early termination of the derogation for the use of Russian oil and termination of the concession for the Rosenets oil terminal, nor for any other actions against LUKOIL in Bulgaria.  

The premature cancellation of the derogation will create serious problems for the Company in securing raw materials at a time when global oil production is in decline and the cost of transporting cargo by sea has increased sixfold in 18 months. It is extremely difficult to ensure long-term supplies with a clear forecast for the economic development of the country and the region, and it is even more difficult to guarantee that the fuel leaving the refinery will remain the most affordable in Europe.  

The refinery needs an uninterrupted supply of crude oil with certain characteristics. Neither the production technology nor the supply logistics can be changed depending on the political situation and partisan interests. Disruption of the rhythmic supply of raw materials, without prior preparation, can lead to the shutdown of the refinery and endanger the safe operation of its facilities.  

 The new, more expensive raw materials will lead to an increase in the final prices of fuels for the Bulgarian market, which will affect Bulgarian air and road carriers, municipalities, public authorities, all those who use liquid fuels, and ultimately every Bulgarian family. 

 We share our concern that our refinery is involved in political experiments, which hamper its uninterrupted operations, so that its market share will be taken over by speculative traders who are preparing to import already expensive foreign fuels and sell them at even higher price points. We, the petrochemical professionals of Bulgaria, believe that it is wrong for malicious business interests or narrow partisan interests to determine the country’s economic vector to the detriment of its energy security and the well-being of our fellow Bulgarians. 

We ask you to show leadership and prevent any attempt to abolish the European Union’s derogation before the deadline set by Brussels. We ask you to protect our jobs and the jobs of thousands of Bulgarians, to save the country’s economy from unnecessary price shock, to preserve the few industries and enterprises that are still functioning in the country. 

We urgently request a meeting with the Members of the National Assembly, to explain the consequences of hasty and reckless decisions and discuss the position of the members of the Union of Bulgarian Petrochemical professionals. We appeal to your sense of justice and sound judgement! Bulgaria deserves prosperity! 

With due respect and hope, 

Union of the Bulgarian Petrochemical Professionals “Lukoil” 

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