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28 February 2020, 12:32

Belarusian oil refineries keep domestic market well supplied, ship critical exports

Igor Lyashenko. An archive photo
Igor Lyashenko. An archive photo

MINSK, 28 February (BelTA) – Belarusian oil refineries supply sufficient amounts of products to the domestic market. A critical volume of export is also taken care of, BelTA learned from Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Igor Lyashenko.

“The domestic market gets enough. Once we resolve problems with the Russian Federation, the other export volumes will be restored. But we take care of the critical export volume as well,” the official said.

Igor Lyashenko went on saying that this year Belarusian oil refineries have been getting about 1 million tonnes of oil per month for processing. “We are working in the neighborhood of 1 million tonnes,” he noted.

Asked about the volume expected in March, Igor Lyashenko stated: “The same volume we had in January and February. In other words, the enterprises will have the corresponding workload.”

Igor Lyashenko did not specify what five Russian companies Belarus had been able to purchase oil from saying it was confidential information.

BelTA reported earlier that five companies will supply oil to Belarus without a premium in addition to the group of companies SAFMAR. “These five companies are new suppliers we have not worked with yet. Together with SAFMAR we will have six companies to sell us oil at a market price without a premium in the first quarter of the year,” Press Secretary of the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim Aleksandr Tishchenko told BelTA.

It was reported later that the Russian group SAFMAR will supply 300,000 tonnes of oil to Belarus in March while the company UDS Oil will deliver 50,000 tonnes. Speaking about mass media speculations about possible oil acquisitions from Rosneft and Tatneft, Aleksandr Tishchenko noted that no negotiations on oil deliveries in March are in progress with these companies.

Two tankers carrying 160,000 tonnes of Russian oil bought for Belarusian oil refineries through traders without paying a premium are expected to reach the Klaipeda port in March as well.

Apart from that, Belneftekhim's deal with the Azerbaijani company SOCAR provides for shipping about 160,000 tonnes of oil by two tankers in March. Oil will be delivered across Ukraine via the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline.

On 1 January Russia 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. Representatives of the government also stated that all possible options for alternative deliveries were being looked into.

The Belarusian oil refineries (Mozyr Oil Refinery and OAO Naftan) are operating at 50% of their capacity and are expected to process about 1.8 million tonnes of oil in January-February.

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