NEWS – EUROPE 6 PKN Orlen shows improved performance Higher diesel oil consumption was seen across PKN Orlen’s markets, and in Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic gasoline consumption went up as well, PKN Orlen said in a report citing some of the factors behind its improved performance in the first quarter compared to last year. “In the previous quarter, historically a weaker period than the rest of the year, we reported excellent results in the Downstream and Retail segments at all home markets. With an unwavering focus on maximizing performance in our core business areas, we are also proceeding with growth-oriented initiatives and implementing our key investment projects in line with the schedule," said Jacek Krawiec, PKN Orlen’s CEO. PKN Orlen’s retail sales volumes grew by 4% year-on-year, with an increase in market shares seen in Poland and the Czech Republic. The rise in retail sales volumes was supported by a year-on-year improvement in fuel margins on the German and Czech markets (the margins remained broadly flat in Poland and Lithuania), as well as a year-on-year improvement in nonfuel margins across all markets. PKN Orlen also said it consistently developed its non-fuel sales network, which included a total of 1,277 Stop Cafe and Stop Cafe Bistro outlets in Poland at the end of Q1 2015 – 196 more year-on-year. Socar building on oil exports SOCAR’s marketing and economic operations department reported that it exported 102,531 tonnes of diesel fuel and 23,834 tonnes of aircraft gasoline in April 2015. In general, 387,141 tonnes of diesel fuel, 87,646 tonnes of aircraft gasoline, and 178 tonnes of vacuum gas oil were exported during January-April 2015. Socar, a company with headquarters in Baku, Azerbaijan, has in the past said it eyes markets west of Azerbaijan for the distribution of products refined from resources it obtains in its territory. The company is one of the biggest oil and gas corporations in the world. It extracts oil and natural gas through offshore and inshore fields in the Caspian Sea. The SOCAR brand is already present, outside Azerbaijan in Ukraine, Georgia, Romania and Switzerland.. High profile Institution promotes shale gas development in Germany Shale Gas Europe, a group supported by ExxonMobil, Chevron, Halliburton and Shell, put out a press release this month concerning a draft law to regulate the exploration for shale gas. “Germany has some of Europe’s most ambitious environmental objectives. But it also needs to ensure a secure supply of energy that enables its industries to remain competitive and consumers to continue heating their homes at an affordable price. In finding a pragmatic solution that strikes an appropriate balance, the forthcoming debate should avoid unnecessary rhetoric” said Marcus Pepperell, spokesperson for Shale Gas Europe. “There’s no point promoting renewable’s as the only solution when Germany is consequently having to import more coal to meet demand.” According to the statement by the group, Germany is Europe’s biggest energy consumer, representing 19% of Europe’s total energy demand. Germany holds some of the largest estimated shale gas reserves in Europe, three trillion cubic meters, which could provide 20% of Germany’s annual gas demand for up to 100 years, the group said. Shale Gas Europe is a platform managed by FTI Consulting for all parties involved in the exploration and development of shale gas, tight gas and coal bed methane. Q8 sells part of Fuel Iberia to Avia Esergui, a company which operates under the brand Avia, has bought part of the fuel distribution business Fuel Iberia from Kuwait Petroleum (Q8). The part of Fuel Iberia bought by Esergui is the one which owns a distribution network for diesel. The price paid was 3.2 million Euros. The buyer said it plans to more than double the fuel volumes being distributed in the medium-term. Lotos has had a good start to the year Poland-based Lotos recently said that during the first quarter of 2015 its earnings before interest, tax and depreciation nearly doubled from the same period a year earlier.). “Efficient downstream operations enabled Lotos to take advantage of a period of strong refining margins,” the company said. The Gdańsk refinery’s capacity utilization rate in Q1 2015 was just below 93%. With its operations stable, the refinery maintained a throughput of 2,379.2 thousand tonnes (up 5% year on year). French fuel consumption rises According to the a report published by the Union Francaise des Industries Petrolieres (UFIP), consumption of vehicle road fuel in France in April was nearly 4.4 million cubic meters, a 1.7% increase compared with April 2014. This evolution results from the increase of 2.5% in deliveries of unleaded gasoline and an increase of nearly one full percentage point less, about 1.5%, in consumption of diesel, known in France as “gazole". About 81% of all fuel consumption in France during April was diesel, nearly 1.5% less than in the previous month. French fuel consumption in the first four months of the year was 0.4% higher than in the same period in 2014 Slovenia’s government retains stake in ‘Petrol’ company The Slovenian Government announced that it would retain its 25% stake in ‘Petrol’, the country's largest fuel retailing company. Petrol operates a network of 469 fuel service stations across the former Yugoslavia, 311 of which are in Slovenia. Minister of Finance Dunstan Mramor said that no other investors will be allowed to hold a larger stake, allowing the government to retain its influence in key decision making.
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