Finweek English Edition - - THE WEEK -

The quiet, closed-ten­der sale of 10m bar­rels of oil – prac­ti­cally the coun­try’s en­tire strate­gic fuel re­serve – in De­cem­ber, at the bargain price of $28 a bar­rel, raises a num­ber of ques­tions. Fol­low­ing the sale by the Strate­gic Fuel Fund, which falls un­der en­ergy min­is­ter Tina Joe­mat-Pet­ters­son, the coun­try has only 300 000 bar­rels left, in­suf­fi­cient to meet a day’s de­mand. Why was the ten­der process closed? Why wasn’t Trea­sury’s per­mis­sion asked? Why was the oil sold at the bot­tom of the oil price cy­cle? The min­is­ter said the oil needed to be “ro­tated” – why then would we want first dibs on buy­ing back that same “de­graded” oil in case of an emer­gency at pre­vail­ing mar­ket prices (around $50 a bar­rel)?

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