30 Oct 2009 16:14

Regulator not planning to order oil cos to boost product volumes on exchange

MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) - The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is not planning for now to order the big oil companies to increase the volume of refined oil product traded on the exchange.

Last August the FAS had said that a second set of FAS instructions might require monopoly companies to sell a portion of fuel on the exchange in order to bring more transparency to the pricing process.

"For now we are not going to prescribe some kind of percentage [of total oil product sales] on the exchange," FAS chief Igor Artemyev told journalists on Thursday, adding that there are no clear rules at the moment on organizing exchange trading. "If there are no rules, bringing a monopoly onto the market will only lead to an increase in prices," Artemyev said.

Previously, the FAS had called for the oil companies to sell 15% of total volumes on the exchange. The FAS has not dropped the idea, but Artemyev said it was too early to give orders concerning the trade in oil products. "We don't want to put that into effect without a discussion," he said.