First lot of 11 thousands tones of crude oil from Azerbaijan was delivered through Odessa-Brody pipeline and than through the Druzhba pipeline’s branch to Belarusian refinery in Mozyrz on Friday. Next week, Belarus is to begin production of Azer Light oil.
Belarus is supposed to receive 4 million tones of oil, after signing a swap deal with Azer state-owned company „SOCAR“ and Venezuelan government. Last year, Belarus decided to import Venezuelan oil directly. But the attempt failed soon after it turned out that a price of light Venezuelan oil together with the transportation costs on average $640 – one and a half as much as the Russian oil.
Therefore, the Belarusian government decided to look for a different way to diversify crude oil delivered to their refineries. The natural resource is transported on oil-tankers through the Black See to Odessa port, where it’s pressed into a pipeline straight to Belarus. This way, transportation costs are limited, but the refinery in Mozyrz has not revealed the actual price of Azer oil.
Russia still remains main supplier of crude oil to Belarus. Out of 7.6 million tones of oil imported by Belarus within first five months of this year, 6.9 million was delivered by Russia. Belarusian refineries have produced one and a half tones of car petrol, 3 million tones of diesel oil and 2.5 million tones of heating oil within last six months. Majority of it goes for export, especially to the Western Europe countries, which received 4.6 million tones.
Michał Janczuk (Belsat TV)