Viewing cable 06VILNIUS944
Title: PROSECUTORS AND GOL WILL INVESTIGATE CAUSE OF

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS9442006-10-13 12:48:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO5866
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0944/01 2861248
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131248Z OCT 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0673
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000944 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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: 10/12/2016 
TAGS: ENRG EPET PREL LH RS PL
SUBJECT: PROSECUTORS AND GOL WILL INVESTIGATE CAUSE OF 
LITHUANIAN REFINERY FIRE 
 
REF: VILNIUS 939 AND PREVIOUS 
 
VILNIUS 00000944  001.3 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: POL/ECON Section Chief Rebecca Dunham for reasons 1.4 (b 
) and (d) 
 
1 (C) Summary:  Local prosecutors have launched an 
investigation into the cause of the October 12 fire at 
Lithuania's Mazeikiu Nafta oil refinery (MN).  The GOL plans 
to open its own investigative commission as well.  There is 
no evidence yet that the fire was set deliberately.  Initial 
estimates of the amount of damage to the refinery vary 
wildly.  There are no reports of deaths or serious injuries 
resulting from the blaze.  The damage to the refinery may be 
restricted to the unit producing heavy fuel oil products, 
leaving gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel production largely 
unaffected.  End summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
No evidence of foul play, investigation continues 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
¶2. (C) Jurijus Malininas, a senior prosecutor in the 
Mazeikiai District, told us October 13 that investigators 
currently "don't have a single piece of evidence" suggesting 
that the fire was the result of a deliberate act.  He said, 
however, that his office would investigate all possibilities, 
including the possibility of deliberate sabotage. 
 
¶3. (U) The prime minister's spokesperson told journalists 
October 12 that the PM will launch an investigative 
commission to determine the cause of the fire.  The 
government's well-regarded Government Chancellor (akin to the 
USG's OMB Director) Valdemaras Serapinas will chair the 
commission, which will include representatives from several 
ministries (Interior, Environment, Economy, and 
Transportation), the State Security Department, MN, and 
independent experts. 
 
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How much damage?  Too soon to tell 
---------------------------------- 
 
¶4. (U) More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze on 
October 12, bringing it under control within two hours of its 
outbreak.  Dozens of firefighters worked throughout the night 
battling hotspots and small flare-ups.  MN has its own fire 
brigade, but the size of the conflagration -- flames shot up 
more than 150 meters, according to eyewitnesses -- required 
the response of fire services from around the region.  There 
are no reports of injuries or fatalities. 
 
¶5. (SBU) Dr. Vaclovas Miskinis, who heads the Energy Systems 
Research Laboratory at the Lithuanian Energy Institute, told 
us that the fire appears to have severely damaged only one 
part of the refinery, the distillation tower that processes 
heavy fuel oil into more refined products.  He said that 
production of petroleum products such as gasoline or jet fuel 
that are not derived from heavy fuel oil should not be 
severely hampered, because they are distilled from the crude 
earlier in the production process.  (NOTE:  Dr. Miskinis does 
not work at MN and offered us this explanation based on his 
understanding from press reports of what happened.  END NOTE.) 
 
¶6. (U) An MN spokesperson told reporters October 13 that the 
fire will not affect the production of gasoline and that MN's 
night shift worked a full production schedule overnight in 
those production lines not affected by the fire.  Local press 
reports that the PM's office indicated that damages to MN 
could reach USD 3.6 million to USD 7.2 million and take 
"months" to repair.  These reports emphasized, however, the 
preliminary nature of these figures. 
 
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Effect on PKN deal 
------------------ 
 
¶7. (U) Local press reports that Poland's PKN Orlen announced 
on October 13 that the company was ready to cooperate with 
the GOL and Yukos International (MN's current majority 
shareholder) to resolve the situation and that the fire will 
not have a significant impact on its planned purchase of the 
 
VILNIUS 00000944  002.3 OF 002 
 
 
refinery.  Other press reports quoted MN's chairman, Nerijus 
Eidukevicius, saying that only the complete loss of one of 
MN's operating units, like the refinery or Butinge terminal, 
would allow PKN to cancel legally its contract to buy MN.  A 
more pessimistic account appeared in the Russophilic daily 
Respublika.  Its coverage emphasized the possibility that, in 
the fire's wake, PKN might insist on a lower price for the 
refinery or reconsider its offer entirely. 
 
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Comment 
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¶8. (C) The MN blaze will continue to attract a great deal of 
attention: three ministers, including the PM, have already 
visited the refinery.  These GOL officials are (responsibly) 
avoiding a rush to conclusions about the fire's cause. 
Somewhat surprisingly, so is the media, at least for now. 
All eyes will now turn to the investigations, which will take 
place under considerable public scrutiny. 
KELLY