Association Grand, which operates under a franchise agreement with Russian oil firm RussNeft, was reported to have come under new ownership, according to sources in the Russian fuel markets.

Lukoil’s petroleum product division Lukoil-Severo-Zapadnefteprodukt’s first deputy director, Maxim Khitrov, was named as the director general of Association Grand in December 2007, fuelling speculation that Lukoil probably took ownership of the filling station chain.

According to industry sources, RussNeft’s owner Mikhail Gutseriev is finalizing the sale of his interest in RussNeft, but the Association Grand filling station network is reportedly not part of the sale.

Association Grand has over 90 filling stations across Moscow and the surrounding areas. Lukoil will reportedly become the second largest gasoline retailer in the Russian capital region if it does take over the Association Grand chain.