Serbia has enough oil reserves for just 10 days, Belgrade daily Danas said on Thursday quoting energy experts who warned that the government is not doing enough to build up reserves in case of a global fuel crisis.
The experts also warned that Serbia will not be able to meet European Union requirements for mandatory oil reserves to last 90 days.
Serbian Oil Company Association Secretary General Tomislav Micovic said that less than a quarter of the tax for mandatory reserves was used to build up the reserves.
The tax (2.6 Dinars per liter of fuel) is included in the price of fuel and was introduced in 2014 with the sole purpose of paying for the oil reserves. The government has never released data on how much money the tax brings in nor how much money is put into the mandatory reserves. The Finance Ministry has the discretionary right to decide how much of the tax goes to the Energy Ministry to buy oil. Danas said that very little of the collected amount is used for the reserves.
The daily said that it requested information from the Finance and Energy Ministries about the money used for the mandatory oil reserves but never got a reply. It said that around two million tons of fuel are sold in Serbia every year which means that the government collects about 42 million Euro from the tax which is enough to secure a mandatory oil reserve to last 90 days as defined by EU regulations.