MOSCOW Dec 27 Russia's second biggest oil
producer Lukoil has appointed a new vice-president for
sales and supplies after state-owned rival Rosneft
clinched several major deals at its expense, three sources told
Valery Subbotin, Lukoil's vice-president for oil sales and
supplies, ended his 18-year tenure at the company last week and
has been replaced by Vadim Vorobyov, previously Lukoil's
vice-president for oil refining, gas processing and
petrochemicals, according to the sources familiar with the
Subbotin, who holds a 0.0152 percent stake in the company,
will take a senior management position at Lukoil's trading arm
Litasco, the sources said.
Lukoil's press office declined to comment and Subbotin did
not respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Lukoil is Russia's biggest private oil firm and its
second-largest oil producer behind Rosneft. The two companies
have repeatedly clashed over assets.
Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin, an ally of President
Vladimir Putin, has clinched several big deals in the last two
months, including the purchase of a controlling stake in
mid-sized oil company Bashneft and a stake in India's
biggest refiner Essar.
It also sold a 19.5 percent government stake in itself to
Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and commodities trader Glencore
for 10.5 billion euros..
One of the sources said Subbotin's role change was a result
of Lukoil losing the battle for the stake in Bashneft.
"Lukoil closely cooperated with Bashneft, (and it) really
wanted to buy it, but Rosneft appeared to get in the way, and
after the closing of the deal started to change the oil trading
scheme," said a trader on the Russian oil market.
Since acquiring control of Bashneft, Rosneft has moved to
cancel contracts between Bashneft and Lukoil and it stopped
buying oil from Lukoil destined for Bashneft's refineries in the
republic of Bashkortostan.
Rosneft spokesman Mikhail Leontyev told TV station "Rain"
(Dozhd) on Oct. 12 that Rosneft had a raft of questions for
Bashneft, including about its oil sales with Lukoil.
Rosneft told Reuters that any decisions about Bashneft
assets would be made on economic grounds.
"The company currently has a contract in force. Its
parameters may be changed - Rosneft, proceeding from its
business plan, will set out the most efficient supply routes for
these products," it said.
Market players say they are concerned that the change of a
top manager in charge of oil supplies might result in Lukoil
supplying less oil to the domestic market.
"Lukoil supplied large volumes of oil to the domestic market
and now it is unclear if these supplies will decline or not. As
of now those firms who worked with Lukoil under swap deals,
haven't received anything for January," one trader said.
Lukoil used to supply about 700,000-800,000 tonnes of oil
per month to the Russian domestic market.
(Additional reporting by Lyudmila Zaramenskikh; writing by
Tatiana Vodyanina; editing by David Clarke)