Russia’s Energy Ministry announced that it will delay its implementation of Euro 5 gasoline by six months, until July 1, 2016. Initially, the ministry considered delaying its implementation by a year.
“During those six months, the energy ministry will be monitoring the situation on the market in order to take further decisions [on the issue],” Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.
The balance between Russia’s gasoline production and domestic demand remains thin, while Russia’s diesel production exceeds domestic demand. Thus, while implementation of Euro 5 gasoline will be delayed, the implementation of Euro 5 diesel will proceed as planned.
The original plan, which was agreed upon as part of Russia’s national refinery modernization program was to ban Euro 4 gasoline, which contains 50 parts-per-million (ppm) sulphur, beginning in January 2016, together with Euro 4 diesel. Euro 5 gasoline and diesel contain 10 ppm sulphur.
Earlier this year, however, some companies asked the ministry to reconsider their deadlines for certain projects, due to Russia’s economic crisis arising from the West’s economic embargo and significant decline in oil revenues. Domestic refineries have also experienced a significant drop in refining margins due to tax changes, which were implemented in January.