OREANDA-NEWSThe Ministry of Energy under the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Promsiryeimport, which is under US sanctions, may become a wholesale supplier of petroleum products to the Crimea, the Russian media wrote on Monday, citing a number of sources in the industry.

According to the publication's interlocutors, this option is being considered as part of the government’s efforts to reduce retail fuel prices in the Crimea. The Ministry of Energy by May 15 will prepare relevant proposals on the instructions of the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. 
Last year's rise in fuel prices in the Crimea was significantly higher than the average for Russia, and there was no correction. As a result, the gap between the cost of fuel in the Krasnodar region is growing. This is a matter of concern for officials, the source said. So, if on average for 2017, the gasoline AI-92 at a gas station in Simferopol cost 1.7 rubles per 1 liter more than in Krasnodar, on average in 2018 the difference was already 3 rubles, and in mid-April of this year - 3 , 6 rubles.

Promsyereimport is under US sanctions for supplying Iranian oil to Syria. The company is already a key supplier of gas to the Crimea, which buys on the exchange. It is assumed that a large trader who does not fear sanctions will be able to offer stable wholesale prices to Crimean gas station chains, which will allow them to reduce the cost of fuel at gas stations. The cost of raising funds for Promsriereimport will be lower than for private traders who are now supplying petroleum products to the Crimea, one of the newspaper’s sources notes.

However, other sources in the market doubt that oil companies will agree to work with Promsyereimport directly because of the risk of sanctions. If the trader will buy fuel on the exchange (trades are anonymous), the price of transactions may not be optimal. These calculations do not take into account the high cost of financing for the gas stations of the peninsula, where there are almost no large banks, and gas stations are forced to work with deferred payment and pay interest, one of the local market participants objects.