The first batch of Norwegian oil arrived at Belarus’ Naftan oil refinery in Navapolatsk on January, 26.
“A train consisting of 59 cars with the total volume of about 3,500 tonnes arrived at the Navapolatsk rail station from the Klaipeda port at 8.10,” state-run news agency BelTA reports.
86,000 tonnes of Norwegian oil delivered by the ship Breiviken is to be supplied to the plant within the next two weeks.
The exact cost of Norwegian oil is not yet known. But the delivery of oil from Klaipeda towards Navapolatsk refinery will cost Minsk much more than imports by pipelines – transshipment and transportation to the plant by rail will cost over $20 per tonne.
Belarusian refineries have been operating at minimum load since January 1, 2020. At the beginning of the new year Russia stopped supplying oil to our country, as last year’s agreement ended and the new one was never signed. Lukashenka and Putin failed to agree on gas and oil prices for Belarus after the talks last year. Now oil from Russia is supplied to Belarusian refineries by the companies of the Safmar group controlled by the oligarch and Alyaksandr Lukashenka‘s friend Mikhail Gutseriyev.
Against this background, the head of Belarus demanded that officials find an alternative to Russian oil. As a result, Belarus stopped exporting oil products to save resources for domestic needs.