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Shell closes 6 filling stations in Crimea, Russia's LUKOIL operates in routine mode

Shell has closed six filling stations in Crimea, a spokesman for Shell's office in Ukraine, which is responsible for the filling stations network in Crimea, told Itar-Tass on Monday.

According to the spokesman, Alliance Holding, the operator of Shell retail network in Ukraine, has closed six out of 22 filling stations in Crimea. A decision to this effect was taken by the Alliance Holding board of directors back in October 2013 and stemmed from commercial considerations aiming to optimize the company's activities.

"As of now, we can provide no comment about the future of our 16 remaining filling stations in Crimea. We are closely watching the development of the situation," the spokesman said.

In the meantime, filling stations in Crimea operated by Russia's oil major LUKOIL are working in the routine mode, the company told Itar-Tass.

LUKOIL has 13 filling stations in Crimea. Gasoline and diesel fuel to these stations are supplied from the company's refineries in Romania, Bulgaria, and Belarus. The choice of the supplier is in the competence of logistics services.

Back on March 26, Crimea's First Deputy Minister of Fuel and Energy Vadim Zhdanov told Itar-Tass that Crimea had fuel resources for only five days. "We have a problem with supplies of light oil products," he then said. "Gasoline will soon be supplied from Russian companies. All operators in the region should have ten-day reserves of fuels. Today, the reserves are enough for five days, or less than necessary. Nonetheless, the issue is being addressed to. Fuels are already coming from Russia. Fuels will be supplied by two channels - either via the Kerch ferry service or by sea."

He said that ten-day fuel reserves amounted to 10,000 tonnes of gasoline and 10,000 tonnes of diesel fuel. "Taking into account shipment costs, I don't think Russian fuels will be priced in Crimea much higher than in [Russia's southern] Krasnodar Territory," Zhdanov added.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 31Mar14]

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