Working Group on Investigating Issues on Pricing in the Oil and Oil Product Markets and Methods of their Functioning

The Working Group on Investigating Issues on Pricing in the Oil and Oil Product Markets and Methods of their Functioning (hereinafter referred as the “Working Group”) has been created upon the initiative of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (the FAS Russia) and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (FCA) in October 2011. The Working Group is chaired by Anatoly Golomolzin, the Deputy Head of the FAS Russia and Theodor Thanner, Director General of the FCA. The Working Group was appointed for the purpose of promoting the development of price indicators setting out a fair price for oil and oil product, formed on market conditions; providing competitive pricing in the frame of oil and oil product trading. The main goals of the Working Group have been defined by organizers as follows:
- Exchange of experiences and approaches to enforce antitrust legislation in the oil and oil product markets;
- Investigation of issues on pricing in the national oil and oil product markets, including reveal of interrelation between prices in the international and national markets;
- Exchange of experience in the field of regulation in the frame of oil and oil product trading (coordination of the activities of participants in a bidding process).
The Working Group had five sessions. The representatives of such countries as Russia, Portugal, Kazakhstan, USA, Ukraine, Austria, Germany and others participated in these sessions.
The results of the Working Group performance during 2013 were reported at meetings of the Interstate Council for Antimonopoly Policy (ICAP) in Minsk (the Republic of Belarus) and in Irkutsk (the Russian Federation), in Paris (France) in the framework of the OECD Competition Committee, as well as at the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy (UNCTAD) meeting in Geneva (July, 2013).
Beyond that, in 2014, the Working Group produced a booklet entitled «The International Working Group on Investigating Issues on Pricing in the Oil and Oil Product Markets and Methods of their Functioning: results, tasks and development strategy», in Russian and English, which includes materials and documents on the theme.
Great attention was given to the development and maintenance of the program «The Oil Information Platform» (hereafter – the Platform), which expects competition authorities to exchange fundamental information concerning national oil and oil product markets. The Platform would enhance interaction between competition authorities, including investigations for competition law infringements. It already contains materials resulting from the Working Group activity, including monitoring data and statistical records, main practices in the field of methodology and procedures on the implementation of the competition law in member-states of the Working Group.
The Interstate Council for Antimonopoly Policy (ICAP) and the Headquarters for Joint Investigations of Violations of the Antimonopoly Law of the CIS Member-States prepared the Report on the State of Competition and Pricing in the Oil and Oil Product Markets, which was endorsed by the session of the Council of CIS Heads of Government, held in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) on November 21, 2014.