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UPI Energy Watch

By ANDREA R. MIHAILESCU, UPI Energy Correspondent   |   Oct. 24, 2007 at 2:26 PM   |   Comments

Gas prices in Moscow won’t go up

The Moscow Oil Refinery, which makes deliveries to city gas stations, does not plan to increase gasoline prices, Yuri Luzhkov, city mayor of Moscow, said Tuesday at the TVC live broadcast.

He stressed that the city authorities "will monitor" the fuel prices.

On Monday, Moscow First Deputy Mayor Yuri Roslyak said there are no reasons for gasoline price hikes in Moscow.

Rumor had circulated that there is a possible increase in gasoline prices, but officials denied them.

According to official data, in January-September 2007 the refinery's deliveries to Moscow's internal market were 209,000 tons of gasoline -- more than in the same months of last year.

"With this in mind, we are not talking about gasoline deficit," he said, adding that "there is no reason to speak about the growth of expenditures for oil processing both at the Moscow oil refinery or any other refineries of the Central Federal District."

"The cost of electricity is one of the components of the gasoline price. However, electricity prices are increased once a year. And there have been no tariff growth in Moscow lately, including for communal services," Roslyak said, adding, “Crude oil prices were also stable in the domestic market."

"Fuel producers and vendors should express reasonable circumspection and do not join the race for profit because the growth of gasoline prices may bring about a new growth of consumer goods prices that the government has managed to stabilize," Roslyak said.


Khartoum uses oil to advance agenda

Since it was first discovered in 1979, Sudan has been using oil as a major driving force in politics and governance.

When production first came online in 1999, it revived the government's ability to wage war against the Sudan People's Liberation Army in the South and ushered in external investment that stimulated rapid growth in an economy that had been under U.S. economic sanctions since 1997, according to The EastAfrican.

Though national income sources are more diversified, petroleum exports remain the single largest source of foreign currency, allowing the National Congress Party to wage its war in Darfur and buy off challengers as it pursues divide-and-rule tactics throughout the country.

The oil sector is not transparent and is still controlled by the National Congress Party. Corruption is rampant, though the layers of National Congress Party-affiliated companies and security agencies thriving on state resources make it appear relatively subtle.


Oil pipeline leaks south of Haifa

A massive underground oil pipeline burst and leaked into buildings and onto nearby roads, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Highway 4 was closed and environmental experts were still assessing the damage.

The pipeline transported oil from the Port of Ashkelon to refineries in Haifa.

The first warning came in the evening, when, according to Haifa fire services spokesman Hezi Levy, the owner of the Yekev Hagalil factory, south of Haifa, called in a complaint that oil was leaking into his building.

After finding that the pipeline had sprung a leak and that oil was pooling in drainage ditches alongside the busy highway, Katza, the national oil company, stopped the flow to the pipe.

Meanwhile, fire and rescue teams, and Haifa and Tirat Hacarmel municipal workers labored for hours to limit the scope of the disaster. They pumped oil out of the ditches and spread sand across oil slicks to absorb the liquid and minimize the risk of fire. Levy said that even after the pipe was shut down, small quantities of oil continued to leak out.

Had the oil been permitted to continue flowing into the drainage ditches, it would have eventually entered the nearby Mediterranean Sea, Yisrael said.

Police and Environment Ministry officials would investigate the incident in the coming days, Yisrael said.

--

Closing oil prices, Oct. 24, 3 p.m. London

Brent crude oil: $82.23

West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $85.29

--

(e-mail: energy@upi.com)

Topics: Brent Crude
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