Russia may ship 18.5 mil mt of crude to Belarus in 2013: Transneft
Moscow (Platts)--19Dec2012/919 am EST/1419 GMT
Russia is provisionally planning to ship 18.5 million mt of crude to
Belarus in 2013, but has yet to agree on final volumes, Igor Katsal, deputy
vice president of state-owned pipeline operator Transneft, said Wednesday.
At a company event, Katsal said that this would include shipments of
4.62 million mt of crude in the first quarter of 2013. Russia is
provisionally expecting oil products shipments of 2 million mt from Belarus
in 2013 in return, Katsal said.
Belarus had been hoping that Russia would agree to ship 23 million mt in
2013, in return for 3 million mt of oil products.
This would have represented an increase on the 21.5 million mt of crude
Russia agreed to ship in 2012, and a decrease on the 5.8 million mt of oil
products Belarus agreed to ship this year.
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Russia and Belarus signed a deal covering crude and oil product
deliveries from 2012-15 last year.
In the first nine months of the year, Russia delivered crude in line
with the agreement, but only received 100,000 mt of oil products in return,
well below agreed levels. That lead analysts to speculate that Russia would
be reluctant to agree to ship similar, or increased, volumes in 2013.
Russia initially threatened to cut supply volumes in the last quarter to
as little as 4 million mt, but in early November the two sides agreed that
Russia would supply around 4.9 million mt of crude in Q4, in return for
200,000 mt of gasoline.
Last week Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko said that he expected
the two countries to reach an agreement within the next two weeks, the Prime
news agency reported at the time.
Lukashenko also said that Belarus has not ruled out taking additional
crude volumes from other suppliers such as Azerbaijan and Venezuela next year
if necessary, Prime reported.
Belarus has imported Azeri crude via Ukraine in the past, using the
Odessa-Brody and Druzhba pipelines, but stopped deliveries this year, after
reaching the agreement with Russia in late 2011.
Azerbaijan and Venezuela have both subsequently indicated their
willingness to supply crude to Belarus if necessary.
--Nadia Rodova, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Writing by Rosemary Griffin, email@example.com
--Edited by Martin O'Rourke, firstname.lastname@example.org