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Oil Importers do not Agree with PM’s Allegations

Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili accused the oil companies operating in the country of breaching   competition law.

“We all know that in recent times the world price of oil fell sharply, and judging from the current trend, continue to fall. On this basis, in our country everyone is interested in how adequately prices for oil products are  lowering  in Georgia. Accordingly, the Competition Agency is exploring the market of petroleum products. About a month ago, I made a statement regarding issue and instructed The Agency to study the subject in detail. The Agency is currently working in this direction, “- the Prime Minister said.

In his words, the first findings of the study already exist.

“In the second half of 2014, world oil prices have fallen by 60%, and this certainly should have been adequately reflected in the Georgian market in about 1-2 months. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and our society has every reason to be dissatisfied. It’s clear as day that the operating expenses of oil companies have not grown, and international oil prices decreased. Respectively, it is unclear why this has not reflected enough on the Georgian market,”- said the Prime Minister.

According to him, in this situation the oil companies reduce fuel prices slightly, in any case, inadequately to the  global trend.

Apart from that, Garibashvili mentioned  intermediary companies which  contribute to insufficient reduction in fuel prices.

This statement has caused the biggest surprise of the Deputy General Director of Lukoil – Georgia Shavleg Mishveladze.

“I am very interested in what intermediary companies  the Prime Minister had in mind making that statement. We do not see such companies around us. Maybe they exist, but Prime Minister’s allegations don’t apply to us. “- Mr Mishveladze responded.

With regard to fuel prices, according to him, the decline in international oil prices by a certain percentage does not mean that fuel prices will fall exactly on the same percentage.

“In our filling  stations fuel prices are falling. Today’s price takes into account the existing realities, which are formed in the highly competitive market of oil products. The price of oil and the exchange rate of the national currency are the main factors in this case,”- he  added.

Gulf company  claims that since August 2014, after international oil prices began to decline, fuel prices in the company’s gas stations began to fall as well.

Nino Jibladze,  the Head of Marketing and PR Department at Gulf , says that during this period fuel prices have been reduced 11 times, and the overall level of reductions totals  GEL 0.50 per liter.

“In addition, we have a system of discounts for loyal customers which provides an additional price reduction of  0.06- 0.10 per liter. If the downward trend in oil prices continues, we will continue to lower fuel prices, “- she stressed.

They are convinced in Gulf  that the reduction in fuel prices in Georgia is quite adequate to  international situation and the drop in oil prices.

“As for the intermediary companies, the intervention of which allegedly leads to an increase in fuel prices, we do not have any contact with such companies, and we know nothing about them,” – she said.