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September 8, 2022updated 05 Oct 2022 11:48am

Croatia to ban natural gas exports

While Croatia plans to ban natural gas exports, INA CEO resigns amid a corruption probe.

By Smruthi Nadig

Croatia plans to ban the export of domestically produced natural gas, Croatian Economy Minister Davor Filipovic said on Wednesday in a news conference. 

The Croatian Government plans to implement measures to limit exports of natural gas generated domestically by one of its largest utilities, oil and gas company INA. According to Filipovic, INA expects to produce 703 million cubic meters of natural gas this year. 

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL owns 49.08% of INA, followed by the Croatian government, which owns 44.84%. MOL has already fiercely clashed with the government over management rights and strategy.

On Wednesday, INA announced the resignation of its Hungarian CEO, Sandor Fasimon. Fasimon currently faces an investigation into alleged corruption, centring on the resale of natural gas by lower-level corporate executives. 

The government will mandate the firm to sell all of the natural gas it extracts domestically to Croatian households, companies, and institutions next week.

According to Filipovic, the government will also decide on Thursday to remove all Croatian members of INA’s supervisory board, blaming the company’s recent corruption crisis on its primarily Hungarian administration.

Croatia arrested five people in the recent INA corruption scandal, including a senior manager, on suspicion of organising a conspiracy to resell INA’s natural gas to third parties at a premium and share the earnings.

“That corporate scandal is the consequence of poor management in INA… We shall insist on a change to the system of corporate management there,” Filipovic said.

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