ECONOMY

High interest in Petrom

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania had received letters of interest in the privatization of its national oil company SNP Petrom from 14 oil firms and one consortium by yesterday’s deadline, Economy Minister Dan Popescu told reporters. The consortium was made out of US oil services company Halliburton, together with Regal Petroleum and the Romanian group Tender. The other companies which sent letters of intent included the US’s Alon, Occidental Oil and Gas, Conoco Philips, Poland’s PKN Orlen, Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum, Hungary’s MOL, Russia’s TNK-BP, Group Sicomiga Romania and Saudi Arabia’s Kanooz Al Watan Oil. Russia’s Gazprom, Austria’s OMV, Switzerland’s Glencore, Italy’s ENI and Phoenix Oil from Cyprus had also expressed interest. The Economy Ministry plans to sell 33.34 percent of Petrom outright. The sale is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2004.