Russian oil giant Lukoil may be looking at creating a partnership with Hungary's MOL, as part of its expansion plans for which it has set aside $9 billion for downstream purchases, has reported, citing the Financial Times.

According to, Leonid Fedun, Lukoil’s vice president for strategy, told the Financial Times that Lukoil is interested in MOL, but that due to the nationalism that is currently dominating the energy sector in central and eastern Europe, the firm may invest the $9 billion in other areas of Europe.

Mr Fedun is reported to have told the Financial Times that the company has set aside the investment sum because the climate for making acquisitions has recently improved due to the healthier state of the stock markets.

According to, citing the Financial Times, Lukoil is looking to partner with downstream companies that would complement its upstream activities, and MOL is a possible partner.

The Hungarian publication said that as a result of the protectionist climate in the European energy sector, Lukoil might find it easier to acquire downstream assets such as refineries that are being divested by other oil firms.