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    Russian minister fears oil refining crisis

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    MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's minister of industry and energy warned of a possible crisis in the country's oil refining industry Friday.

    Viktor Khristenko told a government fuel and energy session that it was impossible to meet forecasted demand, and that the growth potential built in the Soviet times was all but depleted.

    "A crisis is looming in the industry," he said.

    The minister added that although the sector had shown stable economic growth before last year, the industry owed its growth mainly to capacity inherited from the past.

    He highlighted the worn-out state of facilities, high transport expenses due to the inconvenient location of refineries, and the low quality of products, which means that Russian oil products are usually sold in Europe only as raw materials which require secondary processing.

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