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Fuel collapse: Ukraine may be left without diesel fuel from October 16

The reason for the October fuel shortage in Ukraine. Photo: DriveNN

The reason for the October fuel shortage in Ukraine. Photo: DriveNN

Ukrainian Oil & Gas Association (UOGA) beats the alarm and predicts a fuel collapse in Ukraine due to critical mistakes made by the Cabinet of Ministers when editing the technical regulations of light oil products.

In order to avoid a collapse in the fuel market and an acute shortage of diesel fuel (DF) among consumers of all categories, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Resolution No. 967 "On Amendments to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated August 1, 2013 No. 927" on September 23, 2020. UOGA assumes that as a result of technical errors in the text of the technical regulations regarding the requirements for motor gasoline, diesel, marine and boiler fuels, two critical errors were made that could provoke a collapse in the fuel market. At the very least, this will lead to an acute shortage of fuel for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the State Reserve, and other consumers of diesel fuel. It should be noted that earlier UOGA repeatedly drew the attention of the Ministry of Energy to the need to correct these technical errors. This time, the Association addressed the Prime Minister directly.

The first mistake can lead to the fact that from October 16, Ukraine may be left without diesel fuel.

Since one of the most important indicators of diesel fuel, namely the limiting filterability temperature of winter and arctic DF, was removed from the technical regulation, it will become impossible to assess the compliance of such fuel with the technical regulation requirements and issue quality certificates when it is placed on the market and put into circulation.

This means that from October 16, 2021, importers and domestic manufacturers will not be able to sell winter diesel fuel, and the sale of summer diesel fuel from October 16 will be prohibited due to the end of the summer period (from April 16 to October 15). That is, consumers of all categories may be left without diesel fuel: defense sector, State Reserve, government and utilities, industrial consumers, and citizens.

The second mistake can cause the sale of pure gasoline (without bioethanol) to involve the risk of huge fines.

When making the incorrect amendments to the same technical regulation, a new classification of gasoline without bioethanol content—E0—was introduced. At the same time, in addition to describing such gasoline, it was also necessary to prescribe the order of its labeling, which was not done. As a result, gasoline E0 seems to exist (there is a description of it, requirements for physical and chemical indicators, etc.), but how it should be labeled in quality certificates is not specified in the technical regulations.

It is impossible to stop the supply and sale of non-bioethanol gasoline, as this will create an acute shortage of it for all consumers. As a result, the defense sector and the State Reserve may suffer the most, because for long-term storage it is necessary to buy exclusively pure (non-bioethanol) gasoline.

Thus, pure gasoline will be sold with the risk of imposing huge fines for formal inconsistencies in documents arising from an error in the technical regulations.

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