Several Russian regions may face gasoline shortages by the end of fall, RBK Daily reported on Wednesday, citing Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
The minister made the announcement at a government commission on the fuel and energy sector on Monday but the minister’s warning became known only on Wednesday.
Gasoline shortages across Russia in October-November 2012 could reach an estimated 400,000 tons of fuel, or 15 percent of Russia’s monthly consumption. Gasoline shortages in Moscow may hit 69,000 tons in October and 62,000 tons in November.
The ministry cited the growing demand for fuel and stoppages at several refineries for planned repairs as the main causes for the shortage. The Moscow refinery was one of these enterprises, closing down its operations in mid-September for 45 days.
The Energy Ministry has asked oil companies to limit gasoline exports during the period of fuel shortages, including deliveries to their filling stations abroad, and has also asked them to increase output at their refineries to full capacity. Major Russian oil producers have pledged to prevent any fuel shortages.
Potential gasoline shortages may push up fuel prices. The Russian State Statistics service Rosstat has reported gasoline prices have risen by an average of 3.2 percent since the start of the year, with the price hikes largely occurring in the past few weeks.