C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000939
STATE FOR EUR/NB, EUR/NCE, EB/ESC
STATE PLEASE PASS TO FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
DOE FOR HARBERT
DOC FOR 4231/IEP/EUR/BOHIGIAN
NSC FOR GRAHAM, MCKIBBEN AND COEN
TREASURY FOR LOWERY, LEE AND COX
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/11/2016
TAGS: ENRG EPET PREL LH RS
SUBJECT: LARGE FIRE BLAZES AT LITHUANIA'S OIL REFINERY
REF: VILNIUS 891 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: POL/ECON Section Chief Rebecca Dunham for reasons 1.4 (b
) and (d)
Â¶1. (U) Local press reported on October 12 that a fire had
broken out at Lithuania's Mazeikiu Nafta oil refinery (MN) at
approximately 1430 local time. The report said that the fire
was "very big" and that it could be seen from several
kilometers away. The report also said, however, that only
one unit had caught fire and that other parts of the refinery
continued to operate.
Â¶2. (C) Saulius Pocevicius, MN's Security Manager, told us at
1645 local that:
- the fire has been put out,
- there were no deaths or serious injuries, and
- the fire was "big."
He also said that it appeared that the fire was an accident,
not the result of sabotage. Pocevicius added that MN's
General Director, Nelson English, was cutting short a
business trip abroad to return to Lithuania on October 13.
Â¶3. (C) Saulius Specius, adviser to the PM on economic matters
and one of the GOL's negotiators on the sale of MN to
Poland's PKN Orlen, told us that the timing of the fire -- so
close to the conclusion of PKN's deal to buy MN -- was
"rather suspicious." He did not have any hard evidence at
this point to suggest whether the fire was the result of
accident or sabotage.
Â¶4. (C) COMMENT: This will be a major media story over the
next several days, and there will be intense speculation
about whether this fire was accidental or the result of
sabotage, presumably by Russian oil interests trying to
thwart the PKN-MN deal. Right now, it is too early to say.
We will follow events closely.