Romanian authorities say Lukoil has notified it will restart refinery amid corruption probe

Associated Press

Romanian authorities say Russian crude producer Lukoil will restart a refinery that was closed amid a probe into tax fraud allegations.

Daniela Tudorache, an environmental official, said Friday that Lukoil has notified authorities it would restart the refinery. The plant had been temporarily shut after a court had ordered a freeze on its activities, pending the corruption investigation.

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A Lukoil official had earlier threatened to close the refinery for good. But on Tuesday, the court lifted the freeze, though the probe continues.

The case has sparked a dispute between President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who criticized the freezing of the company's assets.

Lukoil has a 20 percent share of the gasoline market in Romania.