Russia has lots of oil, but in a weird twist of fate, the nation could soon run dangerously low on gasoline.
The head of Russia’s biggest oil company is warning that the world’s second largest oil producing nation could soon face a fuel shortfall.
Rosneft’s Igor Sechin predicts that Russia’s gasoline shortage could reach 5 million tonnes a year by 2017. It produced around 38 million tonnes of gasoline in 2014, according to the energy ministry.
The expected shortfall is a result of many factors, including new tax rules, a weakening economy and Western sanctions that are hurting Russia’s oil refining businesses. This is pushing fuel prices up, even as oil prices have plunged.
Gasoline prices rose 6.3% in the first half of the year, according to official data.
In a letter sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin and quoted by local media this week, Sechin urged Putin to address the issue by introducing benefits for oil refineries. He said this would boost investment in the industry and increase efficiency.