Serbia seeks oil partners

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Serbia’s oil monopoly Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS) is seeking investors to help it upgrade its two refineries to produce oil products that can meet future EU standards, a company official said yesterday. NIS’s Pancevo refinery will need up to 400 million euros ($320 million) of investment, of which 80 percent would have to come from loans, investors or share sales, said Ozren Ocic, development manager at the refinery. «The main goal is to provide a modern refinery that can meet EU specs by the end of 2007,» he told Reuters in an interview. He said NIS had had talks with banks Societe-Generale and BNP Paribas, and that Hungarian oil company MOL and Russia’s Lukoil were potential strategic partners.