Russia's LUKoil Plans to Resume Iranian Oil Refining at Sicily Plant

© AP Photo / Hasan Jamali, FileIn this Wednesday, June 8, 2011 file photo, sun sets behind an oil pump in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain
In this Wednesday, June 8, 2011 file photo, sun sets behind an oil pump in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain - Sputnik International
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Russian oil giant LUKoil intends to continue refining Iranian oil at the Italian island of Sicily, the company's president said.

PERM (Sputnik) — Russian oil giant LUKoil plans to resume refining of Iranian oil at the company's ISAB refinery located at the Italian island of Sicily to replace Russian Urals brand oil, President of LUKoil Vagit Alekperov said Thursday.

"Today, we want to return it [Iran's oil] there [to the ISAB], because at the moment Urals is more expensive than Iranian oil. Today, we are placing it at other refineries very effectively," Alekperov told reporters.

He added that oil from Iran was the best option for the ISAB, because it was designed for 70 percent of heavy oil from Iran and 30 percent of light oil from Libya.

Oil workers are seen at the West Qurna Phase 2 field in the Basra region, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq - Sputnik International
LUKoil Estimates Investment in 2nd Stage of West Qurna-2 Project at $6.5Bln
Iran began stepping up international trade and investment cooperation after reaching a historic deal on its nuclear program to ensure its peaceful nature in exchange for the suspension of international anti-Iran sanctions, in particular on its oil sector, in July 2015.

In April, Iran signed a deal with European refineries that could allow for the country to sell up to 700,000 barrels of oil per day to Europe. The deal was set to be implemented "within the next few months," according to country's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

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