Bulgaria, Government to cooperate with Lukoil in order to lower fuel prices

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Caretaker Ministers of Energy and Finance, Rossen Hristov and Nikola Stoyanov, met with the management of Russian owned Lukoil Neftochim and Lukoil Bulgaria to discuss fuel prices in the Bulgarian market, with the aim of lowering fuel prices.

Minister Stoyanov confirmed that this matter was a priority for both Ministries, adding that the working group on this matter will be established next week. He said that the fuel prices impact all, as they are a component in the price of all goods and services, with inflation at over 17 %, twice the EU average. He described the situation as an opportunity to rein in inflation.

Both Hristov and Stoyanov declined to answer how much they expect fuel prices to fall and for how long.

Former Energy Minister in the GERB Government Delyan Dobrev said that fuel obtained from Lukoil is unrealistically expensive, despite the refinery using Russian crude oil which became significantly cheaper (by 40 %), following the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Dobrev offered two possible solutions to the problem: the first is that Bulgarian state buys crude oil directly from Russia, pays the processing fee to Lukoil, after which fuel will be sold to petrol station by Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) at more affordable prices.

The second solution is to impose special excise tax in the amount of 0.5 euros per barrel of crude oil before processing. This way, almost 1.75 billion euros per year will be paid to the state budget and the state will use this money to subsidize retail fuel prices.