The market’s hunger for fuels encourages high prices set by producers in Romania, analysts said

The monopoly exerted over Romania’s oil market results in very high fuel prices which the market endorses owing to ongoing demand, analysts told NewsIn. The international price of oil reached a record value in the past weeks, to a level analysts forecasted for 2013-2014. The price of oil exceeded 120 U.S. dollars per barrel and the future natural phenomenon and social movements will continue to have an impact over it. Austria’s OMV holds the monopoly over Romania’s fuels market and sets the prices it wishes, economic analyst Ilie Serbanescu said. "On the other hand, KazMunaiGas brings resources from abroad while OMV holds ours. Such resources should have not been given to the Austrian company," said Serbanescu. The official emphasized no similar situation exists in Europe. Economic consultant Aurelian Dochia says it is inevitable for the price of gas and diesel oil to increase after the price of the oil barrel boomed at an international level. Most of the analysts believe the price of an oil barrel will fluctuate between 120 and 125 U.S. dollars, according to the consultant. Yet, Dochia warned anything could happen within this sensitive market. The economist noted the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will set the oil production so as to maintain the present prices. Romania’s sole domestic oil producer Petrom, owned by OMV, raised fuel prices with 0.24 lei for gas and 0.33 lei for diesel oil. Fuel prices are set by Petrom according with the international index for oil products (PLATT'S Mediterranean) and the local market, people with Petrom said. "If we would lower prices, Rompetrol, Lukoil, Mol and Agip would go bankrupt," the same people said. Petrom holds 35 percent of the fuels market. The other players followed Petrom’s policy yet at a lower level. Rompetrol hiked fuel prices with 0.12 lei for gas and 0.15 lei for diesel oil. Lukoil said it upped prices at a similar scale the other oil companies did. Lukoil sets fuel prices according to the daily rating of the oil barrel. In 2005, Romania’s competition watchdog started an investigation concerning some hikes in the prices of fuels, performed by Petrom, as these were considered exaggerate. NewsIn

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