Fuel Prices in Bulgaria Break All-time Records

Energy | March 1, 2011, Tuesday // 14:54|  views

In Bulgaria, which has the lowest fuel prices in Europe, premium diesel now costs BGN 2.5 to 2.54 while gasoline is BGN 2.35 to BGN 2.4. Photo by BGNES

Fuel prices in Bulgaria have reached their highest levels ever registered on the market, the Chair of the Bulgarian Petroleum and Gas Association, Andrey Delchev, reported Tuesday.

Delchev, cited by the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, says premium diesel now costs BGN 2.5 to 2.54 while gasoline is BGN 2.35 to BGN 2.4.

The Association's Chair further warns the skyrocketing oil prices will trigger an increase of the price of natural gas as an alternative fuel, but adds this hike would not have the same dimensions as the one of petroleum..

According to Bulgarian experts, the market will recover before prices reach USD 200 per barrel, as international forecasts show.

When asked how high can fuel prices go and how much the local market can absorb, Delchev pointed out transportation companies have no choice but to keep their business running all while sustaining losses while vehicles for personal use depend on the income level of each individual.

The Association's Chair, however, believes there would not be a reduction of the number of people using their automobiles in the initial several weeks of the price hike.

Bulgarian carrier and cargo companies already warned about protest rallies and roadblocks over the uncontrolled price increase of fuels, saying fuels currently on the market have been imported way before the Libyan crisis.

Energy and Economy Minister, Traicho Traikov, said Tuesday for Darik radio fuel prices in Bulgaria are the lowest in Europe and if Lukoil ups them further, import of raw material from abroad is always an option.

Traikov voiced his belief fuel prices on the international market would stop going up soon, and advised those who believe there is a cartel situation over the fuel prices in the country to approach the Commission for Competition Protection.

Some Bulgarian economists, however, are not as optimistic, and warn Bulgaria, as an open economy, could face strong consequences including a slowdown in its economic growth.

Lachezar Bogdanov, managing partner of "Industry Watch," says fuel prices are going up not only over the situation in Libya, but due to a number of other international factors.

"No one should rely solely on the stabilization of Libya as the only condition for prices to go down again," Bogdanov points out.

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Tags: fuel prices, Bulgaria, record, oil, petroleum, gasoline, Libya, crisis, cartel, Bulgarian Petroleum and Gas Association, Andrey Delchev, Energy and Economy Minister, Traicho Traikov


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