The Belarusian government intends to come to terms on signing long-term contracts on oil deliveries from sources other than Russia, BelTA learned from First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Dmitry Krutoi on 7 May.
The official said: «Financial terms of every shipment are thoroughly worked on. I hope once we resolve all the technical problems, we will be able to choose the optimal options out of those we have today and will come to terms on long-term contracts then.»
Dmitry Krutoi noted that due to low oil prices Belarus' losses from changes in the taxation of the Russian oil industry (the so-called tax maneuver) are not that large in absolute terms in comparison with the situation when oil cost $60 per barrel. “Nevertheless, upon instructions of the head of state alternative oil deliveries will always be on our oil agenda. We will continue working with all the countries we've already bought oil from (Azerbaijan, Norway) and with our new partners such as Saudi Arabia and the USA. No doubt we will try to secure the most profitable terms of these deliveries,” First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Dmitry Krutoi stressed.
The official pointed out that financial, economic, and logistic aspects of the spot deals implemented over the course of four months differ from those that can be secured via long-term contracts. Apart from that, there are technical things to consider since the Belarusian oil refineries have to adapt to qualities of alternative oil.
Asked about deliveries of American oil, Dmitry Krutoi confirmed this oil can be delivered to Belarus via Poland. He pointed out that Belarus is working on alternative oil deliveries with all countries, including with Poland – at the level of the ministers of foreign affairs, the ministers of finance, the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim and its individual organizations. However, in his words, it is now more difficult for government agencies to make contacts due to the coronavirus restrictions. “I think the matter will be more actively discussed once the quarantine in Poland is over,” Dmitry Krutoi noted.
BelTA reported earlier that this year Belarus has bought Norwegian and Azerbaijani oil for Belarusian oil refineries with transshipment in the ports of Klaipeda and Odessa respectively. The first shipment of oil bought from the Saudi Arabian national oil company Saudi Aramco – 80,000 tonnes – is supposed to reach the Klaipeda port on 11 May.