Report to offer Croatia options on INA privatization

The report detailing the options open to Croatia as it decides on a model for the privatization of its state-owned oil and gas company, Industrija Nafte DD Zagreb DD, will be given the government in the next 2 weeks. It will offer alternatives including an initial public offering and strategic partnership agreements.

Jun 20th, 2001


Darius V. Snieckus
OGJ Online

LONDON, June 20 -- The report detailing Croatia options for privatizing state-owned oil and gas company, Industrija Nafte DD Zagreb DD, will be given the Balkan country's government in the next 2 weeks, the advisor to INA's chairman said Tuesday.

Mladen Prostenik said the recommendations being prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers PLC and Deutsche Bank AG -- which will cover reform of Croatia's oil and gas market, along with the restructuring of INA -- will look at alternatives "including an IPO (initial public offering) and strategic partnership agreements."

Prostenik expects the Croatian government to decide on a privatization model in September, with the process of restructuring the state-owned company starting next year.

He noted audits of INA's accounts, and oil and gas reserves, had been conducted for the last 5 years by independent UK consultants, and that the company had prepared a "comprehensive" plan for environmental protection following an environmental audit.

The PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deutsche Bank report will include an examination of the regulatory framework for Croatia's oil products market and natural gas energy sector, Prostenik added.

Through its joint venture with ENI SPA subsidiary Agip, Prostenik said, INA was advancing a scheme to tie-in another four satellite gas fields to the North Adriatic Sea Ivana A platform.

These field developments would form part of larger plans, the so-called GEA Project, aimed at exporting gas to both central Europe and Croatia through a 321-km subsea gas pipeline running from Casal Borsetti in Italy via Pula and on into the Balkans.

The 24-in. pipeline would be made up of a 130-km offshore section, and 191 km onshore, and transport 5 billion cu m/year of gas.

Prostenik said INA was "very interested in connecting (its) fields with a greater European network."

INA calculates that it has proved and probable oil and gas reserves of some 36 million cu m in Croatia, and another 8.8 million cu m abroad.

Contact Darius V. Snieckus at dsnieckus@ogjonline.com

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