MINSK, 6 March (BelTA) – The Azerbaijani state-run company SOCAR is set to ship 250,000 tonnes of oil to Belarus in March, BelTA learned from Press Secretary of the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim Aleksandr Tishchenko.
“SOCAR is set to supply more oil in March; a third shipload of oil will be made. The total amount of oil supplies will approximate 250,000 tonnes. These shiploads will not be the last for our refineries,” Aleksandr Tishchenko said.
In his words, the first tanker with oil for Belarus' Mozyr Oil Refinery left the Turkish port of Ceyhan on 6 March. This oil will be delivered to Belarus across Ukraine via the Odessa-Brody pipeline. “This pipeline is ready to pump our oil,” the press secretary said.
“We have left our comfort zone. We are working with alternative oil suppliers; our diversification efforts will continue. The oil that was supposed to be delivered by pipelines has been offered by oil traders. The experience shows that it is quite possible to work with traders, this is a rather flexible and fast scheme,” Aleksandr Tishchenko said.
Speaking about supplies through the Baltic ports, the press secretary explained that the two tankers that arrived in March were not the last ones. This logistics scheme will remain in place. The next tankers are most likely to arrive in April.
Aleksandr Tishchenko also commented on the plans of Belarusian oil refineries to receive around one million tonnes of oil in March. He noted that the final amount might be even bigger. “Everything depends on the pace of supplies; for example, the tanker carrying the Norwegian oil arrived at the port later because of bad weather in January,” he explained.
When asked about the origins of the oil purchased through traders, Aleksandr Tishchenko noted: “It does not matter where it comes from; what really matters is that the properties of the oil should match technical specifications of our refineries.”
A reminder, the Azerbaijani company SOCAR can supply up to 1 million tonnes of oil to Belarus in 2020. The oil supplies will increase in the years to come.
The tanker carrying Russian oil bought via traders for Naftan Refinery reached the port of Klaipeda, Lithuania, on 4 March. Another shipload is expected in March. All in all, Belarus had negotiated the delivery of 160,000 tonnes of Russian oil.
In addition to that, six Russian companies, including SAFMAR Group and five companies Belarus has not worked with yet, will deliver oil to Belarus in March without a premium. In particular, SAFMAR Group will ship 300,000 tonnes of oil while UDS Oil will deliver 50,000 tonnes.
On 1 January Russia's major oil companies suspended oil deliveries to Belarus because the sides had failed to come to an agreement about the price. First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Dmitry Krutoi was quoted as saying that Belarus believes it is economically inadvisable and pointless to pay the same amounts of premium to Russian companies.