Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian natural-gas exporter, plans to challenge an antitrust ruling that it violated competition rules by driving up prices for refined products.
As Bloomberg reports, Gazprom Neft is ready for actions. “We are absolutely convinced that market conditions determined our prices,” Deputy CEO Elena Ilyukhina said in an interview with the company’s magazine, Sibirskaya Neft, published on the crude producer’s web site Thursday.
The Federal Anti-Monopoly service said Sept. 26 that Gazprom’s oil unit and BP Plc’s Russian venture, TNK-BP, had abused their dominant market position. High global energy prices and intermediaries caused the increase in jet-fuel and other oil-product prices, while rates at Gazprom Neft’s gasoline stations have dropped with falling crude prices, Ilyukhina said.
“We will appeal the decision and defend our position,” Ilyukhina said in the interview.
The regulator started a probe into the practices of Russia’s five largest oil companies after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for a cut in jet-fuel prices following a 70 percent surge from November to June.
Gazprom’s oil-product unit in Astrakhan was fined $543,000 last month for charging gasoline and diesel prices identical to Lukoil’s unit, which was told to pay a fine of $164,000.