Oil companies refuse government intervention on fuel prices

  • ECO News
  • 14 July 2021

The secretary-general of APETRO said that the government had not consulted the oil companies about the decision.

The secretary-general of the Portuguese Association of Oil & Gas Companies (APETRO), António Comprido, ensures that “there is no reason to justify an administrative intervention of the government” in fuel prices in Portugal, namely in the margins.

“This is a market that works, that is competitive, free, and it does not seem to us that an administrative intervention would bring any benefit to the functioning of that market, whether for consumers or for operators and for their ability to continue to maintain their business at the level it is,” said the official, speaking to ECO/Capital Verde.

The position of the association that represents the oil companies came after the minister of the environment and climate action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, said in Parliament that the government will propose a decree-law that allows acting on the margins of marketing of fuels, to avoid “dubious growth” and so that the fall in prices of oil and derivatives will be more felt by consumers.

António Comprido guarantees that the oil companies were completely taken by surprise by this announcement. And that at no time did the government ask them for information or explanations on this matter.

“We had never been given any notice in this sense, of them saying: look what’s going on, or explain to us what’s happening. There was never any attempt to understand why these “doubtful” increases in margins, as the Minister said,” explained the head of APETRO, stressing that “this reference to margins is a little unfair.”

According to a study by the National Entity for the Energy Sector (ENSE) released today, the margin of the suppliers, at the end of June, was 36.6% higher in petrol and 5% higher in diesel than the average margin practised in 2019.