Shell Petrol A.Ş. could be fined up to TL 3 million amid an investigation launched into the company over its limited fuel supply to petrol stations and initiative to manipulate prices, Head of Turkish energy watchdog Mustafa Yılmaz said in a brief chat with reporters on the sidelines of the 10th Turkey Energy Summit, held in the southern resort city of Antalya from Oct. 6-8.
Shell is said to have launched an initiative related to price manipulation after attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities on Sept. 14, which led to oil prices jumping by as much as 20% in the global market due to the disruption in the world's largest crude exporters' output. The attacks crippled 5.7 million barrels per day of production, corresponding to around 60% of Saudi output.
Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) on Sept. 18 launched an investigation into the company after it was found to have provided no fuel, or limited amounts, to petrol stations despite there being no supply problems.
The regulator stressed that no distribution company, regardless of its name, will be allowed to manipulate and victimize customers over fuel prices set in free market conditions, adding that it will not hesitate to take the necessary steps regarding this type of move which disrupts market activities.
Yılmaz recalled that the probe was launched into the company because it wasn't providing fuel to the stations in order to reflect the price hike and attempted to manipulate prices. "We cannot allow anyone to do price manipulation," he stressed. He underscored some stations complained that they received their goods after midnight even though they had ordered them earlier.
"Shell obtained an additional profit of TL 700,000-800,000 by providing goods to the market after 12 a.m.," he noted.
Yılmaz underscored that the institution has the authority to issue a fine of up to TL 3 million in the Shell investigation. "It is a symbolic fine. It will remind the rules foreign companies have to obey," he stressed.