Russia Seeks Tighter Control Over Oil Exports.
Russia is preparing new measures aimed at tightening control over oil exports by rail, river and road--a move aimed at "decriminalization" the sector, the country's president said.
The proposal made on a Jan. 22 government meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin envisions full state control over export schedules and includes the specifying of officially approved transportation agents, a document showed.
The meeting was attended by high-level officials from the energy, economy, industry and transport ministries as well as state-owned oil pipeline operator OAO Transneft, which currently handles most crude oil exports.
Friday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev voiced support for the idea and called for a "decriminalization" of the oil industry.
"I support Sechin's idea concerning supply control," Medevdev said, the Interfax news agency reported. The sector is "out of control," he added.
Transneft controls all exports of crude oil and oil products by pipeline. However, the export by rail, river and road is poorly regulated and isn't under the government's control.
Russia--the world's biggest crude oil producer--plans to export 247 million tons of crude oil this year, or about five million barrels a day. Between 10%-15% of that is exported by rail, river and road, while the rest is exported by pipeline, Transneft estimates.
"The controls might make it more difficult for small oil companies to sell their oil and oil products due to bureaucratic barriers," VTB Capital said.