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Moscow airports are faced with shortage of jet fuel

September 05, 2011, 12:49 UTC+3

A crisis situation has again emerged on the Russian market of aviation fuel

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MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) — A crisis situation has again emerged on the Russian market of aviation fuel. Moscow airports are faced with jet fuel deficit and have reserves only for three days. The problems emerged for several reasons.

According to a source of RBC Daily, the deficit has been caused by a combination of factors: including preventive maintenance at two LUKOIL oil refineries, a large order of the Defence Ministry, as well as the reorientation of refiners for the production of winter fuels. The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) believes that the lack of fuel is caused by the growth of air transportation – by 10 percent compared to last year’s figures. However, a representative of the Kortes news centre noted that the fuel deficit threat arose “from nothing.” “The aviation fuel production has not stopped. Perhaps there were logistical problems or the lack of fuel was caused by a large order of the Ministry of Defence,” Director of Development and Marketing of the Kortes new centre Pavel Strokov noted.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying that the head of government will immediately sign a resolution on the provision of fuel from the reserve for supplying Moscow airports, if need be. According to Peskov, the government is monitoring the situation, but has not taken any decisive actions so far. Earlier, representatives of the Federal Air Transport Agency said they would turn to the Federal Agency for State Reserves (Rosrezerv) with a request for additional supply of 180 thousand tonnes of fuel to Moscow airports. In addition, Rosaviatsiya will request oil companies to increase supplies.

Fuel has been undersupplied to the Moscow air hub already for a second week, Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes. Sheremetyevo Airport has fuel reserves for three days, Vnukovo Airport’s aviation fuel reserves will last for two days, that is, until Monday, experts say. The exchange has long signalled that such a problem could arise. So last week it was already “crying” about this when the sale offer was around 5,000 tonnes of aviation fuel, although the demand was approximately 270 thousand tonnes. And on August 31, the Federal Air Transport Agency received information from Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo that their fuel reserves dropped below three-day supply. The Energy Ministry was immediately informed about the situation.

Kommersant quotes its sources in oil companies. They refer to a large order for jet fuel from the Defence Ministry made in August, and believe that it is the ministry that provoked the current problems. However, the Defence Ministry has denied this.

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