Uzbekistan to increase imports of oil to eliminate gasoline shortage

Uzbekistan Materials 13 November 2013 20:28 (UTC +04:00)

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Nov. 13

By Demir Azizov - Trend: Uzbekistan will increase imports of crude oil for processing at its refineries to meet the needs of the domestic market in gasoline and eliminate queues at petrol stations, JSC Uznefteproduct's press service said on Nov. 13.

Uznefteproduct is included into the Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company (NHC).

"Uznefteproduct is taking strong measures on increasing gasoline production at the refinery in order to stabilize the situation, including through the importation of additional volumes of hydrocarbons," the message said.

It is expected that the bulk of the oil will be imported from Turkmenistan. The report did not indicate the amount of the oil planned to be purchased.

Currently, the queues at filling stations in Uzbekistan have become a common situation and some factors that not depend on Uznefteproduct have served as a reason for this.

According to the press service of the JSC Uznefteproduct these factors include the untrue rumours about increasing gasoline prices and the expected absence of gasoline in December 2013.

Car owners are trying to lay in a supply of additional volumes of gasoline, which causes panic and excessive demand for fuel. Another factor affecting the situation of gasoline is the annual increase of the number of vehicles in the country.

Deficit of gasoline in Uzbekistan has been observed for a few years, but this year the deficit showed itself acutely.

Car owners wait throughout the night to fill their cars, they for hours wait in queues.

It was reported that this year the Uzbek government permitted the UzGasOil company to process oil meant for import at the local oil refineries on the take-back basis. This was done in order to increase the supply of motor car fuel in the domestic market. UzGasOil owns the largest network of filling stations.

A portion of the product - gasoline and diesel - was allowed to be sold in the domestic market at commercial prices that are 1.5 to 2 times higher than state prices. However, this did not solve the problem.