Fuel prices in Bulgaria has reached new highs after Lukoil Bulgaria announced new minor increases.
The wholesale price of the most widely use gas fuel A95 has reached BGN 2.52 per liter, up by BGN 0.04, while the diesel has hit BGN 2.51, after an increase of BGN 0.01 per liter.
While the latest increase announced Saturday is not substantial, since the beginning of July, Lukoil, which is the major refinery in Bulgaria, has hike prices by 0.15 per liter for gas, and 0.12 per liter for diesel.
Since January 2011, the gas price is up by 17%, while the diesel price has increased by 13%.
The major argument of Lukoil Bulgaria for the latest fuel price hike is the oil price dynamics on the international market, after Brent oil hit the USD 117.6 per barrel in the latest London exchange session.
Bulgaria's current gas prices are still below the peak registered in March 2011 when a liter of the A95 gas cost BGN 2.59. This spurred mass protests by drivers around the country, while the Competition Protection Commission started an inspection into a possible cartel agreement.
On March 23, the Bulgarian government signed a one-month moratorium on fuel prices with Lukoil Bulgaria, which brought gas prices down to BGN 2.36 per liter, and diesel prices to BGN 2.45 per liter. The moratorium was subsequently extended till May 9 but gas prices have been crawling up ever since.
In spite of that, however, according to the Europe's Energy Portal, Bulgaria still has the third lowest fuel prices in the European Union with EUR 1.288 per liter of A95/Euro95, after Estonia (EUR 1.2 per liter), and Cyprus (EUR 1.21 per liter).