Croatia: The oil market insufficiently liberalized, Lukoil threatens to stop investing

6. November 2013. / SEE Energy News

Due to the increase of excise duties on fuel and lower and lower profitability in Croatia, where the liberalization of the petroleum products are only on paper, Lukoil is seriously thinking about how to stop the planned investment in Croatia, said Nikolai Ivcikov, director of Lukoil Croatia.

“It is possible that due to the policy of the Government we will be the first to postpone planned investments due to high excise taxes, and other operating conditions, the system of regulation and bureaucracy and unclear guidelines of the Croatian economy and promotion of monopolists. The Croatian government has to decide whether to determine the market price of fuel, or regulators. We are ready for constructive talks, but so far we have not found an understanding”, said Ivcikov, revealing that for opening petrol stations in Croatia they must get 41 papers, with the most licenses to be renewed.

Views of the head of Lukoil in Croatia share Crodux derivatives, while the INA is kinder to the state. “Uncertainty exists and the question is whether we will have one percent of earnings. We do not have time to wait until the end of the year, we addressed the HUP and the Ministry of Economy, but everything ended up with the resignation of Minister Linic”, said Branko Poljak, director of wholesale. Referring to critics about a lack of market liberalization, the Executive Director of INA’s retail Darko Markotic recalled that Ina had hundred percent of share in 000., which came to 70 percent in wholesale and 55 percent in retail. He noted that the INA is at the end of the investment cycle of 350 million kunas in retail sales system.

Mladen Cobanov, director of quality testing, warned that in the last two years the Croatian market lost control of fuel quality. “The state has been in good care for suppliers of petroleum products: the law has freed them from fuel quality control, and they themselves write about their quality. Job control in the event of bad fuel report is entrusted to the inspectors who are less educated and have no money to implement control. No one controls or liquefied petroleum gas, and since we are in the EU, we are watching just what goes from BiH and Serbia”, said Cobanov. Gordana Sekulic from JANAF stated that the company invested about two billion kunas in the quality of its containers since 2007.

Source; Serbia Energy See desk

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