Rompetrol wants to enter local gasoline retail market

Rompetrol wants to enter local gasoline retail market

Bucharest - Hürriyet Daily News
Rompetrol wants to enter local gasoline retail market

A Rompetrol gas station is seen in Romania. Rompetrol is a unit of Kazakhstan’s state-run national oil and gas company KazMunayGas, headquartered in Amsterdam, Holland. Company photo

Rompetrol, a unit of Kazakhstan’s state-run national oil and gas company KazMunayGas, headquartered in Amsterdam, is involved in talks with Turkish firms in order to penetrate the fuel-distribution market in Turkey, a senior company manager has said.

“We are very interested in the Turkish market,” Timur Azimov, a senior vice president at Rompetrol, told Hürriyet Daily News Sept. 26 in Bucharest, following a company presentation during a media visit of foreign reporters. “We want to develop [our access ] to it next year. We are analyzing our entrance into the market. We are checking several possibilities from wholesale to retail business. We see that in Turkish market there is a big potential. We have already setup a company there. We hope that next year we will have a strong development plan. We are already in negotiations with several companies there. [We are considering] acquisitions, partnerships... different ways. I believe Rompetrol will be much more present in Turkey than it is today … [in] fuel distribution.”

Rompetrol operates in 12 countries

Rompetrol operates in 12 countries, with the majority of its assets and operations based in France, Romania, Spain, and southeastern Europe. The group is active primarily in refining, marketing and trading, with additional operations in exploration and production, and other oil-industry services such as drilling and transportation, according to its official website. It operates two refineries in Romania near the Black sea, and covers 32 percent of Romania’s refining capacity, a company statement said.
The group has a European retail network of over 1,100 fuel distribution points, and recorded a turnover of nearly $8.9 billion in 2011, said Azamat Zhangulov, another senior vice president, in his presentation at the Bucharest office.

“We use 100 percent KazMunayGas, and are fully integrated with the KMG value chain. All of our exports go to European and Asian markets,” Zhangulov said.

Established in 1974, Rompetrol holds 26 percent of the Romanian fuel-sales market, but a far smaller share of the vast European market. But with its corporate vision to be “the bridgehead in KMG’s expansion in Europe,” the group is seeking to increase its refining capacity and expand its retail network.

KazMunayGas acquired the Rompetrol Group in 2007, in “the first step in its expansion strategy into the European refining and distribution segment and a critical strategic move to build the energy bridge between Kazakhstan and Europe.”

The Central Asian country claims 3 percent of the world’s total crude oil reserves, but it is also on the path toward shifting from being a natural resource producer to a value-added manufacturer, according to Zhangulov’s presentation.

‘Iraq is key in terms of upstream business’

Rompetrol also seems well aware of energy-rich Iraq’s potential in terms of upstream activity, and has a branch in the country.

“Just last night I returned from Iraq, from Arbil,” said Gavit Kurkimov, upstream managing director at Rompetrol. “Iraq for us is only interesting in terms of upstream business currently. There is a huge potential there, so we are working on developing our Rompetrol world service there. Right now we do not have any activity in Iraq, but we do have an office in Baghdad.