MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Ministry of Energy has instructed energy giant Gazprom to buy 20,000 tons of gasoline a month abroad, the Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday.
"When, in 2013, Gazprom, postponed the [oil refineries] modernization, it gave a letter of guarantee that in case it is needed, it will supply gasoline from abroad to the domestic market," the newspaper cited the source in the fuel market.
In early October, the Ministry of Energy sent to Gazprom a letter asking to import gasoline in Russia, Kommersant reported citing a source in the fuel market. According to the source, it is required by the quadripartite agreement on oil refineries’ modernization.
According to the Kommersant's source, in October, the company must import no less than 20,000 tons of high-octane gasoline.
According to the newspaper, Gazprom (Gazprom Neft excluded) owns two refineries in Russia, in Astrakhan and in Surgut. Their market share is about 6.5% (2.4 million tons). Gazprom’s letter of guarantee presupposes gasoline imports in the amount of 250,000 tons per year. This corresponds to the average monthly imports of 20,000 tons, the newspaper noted.
The Russian Energy Ministry plans to oblige all Russian oil companies buy gasoline abroad in case of its deficiency in the domestic market. The newspaper’s source said that the Russian Ministry Energy did not ask Rosneft to do the same yet. According to Kommersant, oil company Rosneft refused to comment on the issue.