Belarus Buys 600,000 Barrels Of Iranian Oil In Bid To Become Less Dependent On Russia

Belarusian oil company Bel Oil has bought 84,000-ton (600,000 barrels) light and heavy crude oil from National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). The cargo will be loaded in February, according to NIOC press release of 18 February.  

BelOil Polska (subsidiary of state-owned Belarusneft) is expected to ship the Iranian crude oil to either the Black Sea port of Odessa or the Baltic port of Ventspils for rail transportation to Belarus.

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The logistics for this are yet to be agreed, the release reads.

The Iranian company thus confirmed the information reported by Reuters the day before. According to Reuters, a vessel would be loaded from Iran’s Kharg Island on 20 February.

Belarus is forced to look for alternative suppliers amid the cut of imports from Russia provoked by the conflict on energy prices between the two countries. Russia is considering to lower the supply to Belarus by 12%, TUT.BY writes.

In October last year, reports emerged that Belarus bought 84,700 tons from Azerbaijan. According to Reuters, Belarus imported 560,000 tons of Azeri Light and CPC Blend crude oil in 2016. The shipments stopped in January 2017 as the country was looking for other crude oil benchmarks to substitute the Russian Urals benchmark.