Belarus is draining crude oil from the Druzhba pipeline for refining at the Novopolotsk and Mozyr refineries, the press service of the Belneftekhim told TUT.BY.
The process will not affect the transit of Russian oil to Europe. Belarus is running out of crude and oil products as Minsk and Moscow can’t reach a deal on oil supplies from Russia for this year.
“This is technological oil and this is our oil. Intake is carried from the lines which are not used in the transit. Transit volumes are unaffected. This is a temporary measure.
Once the volume of deliveries is restored, these sections will be returned to their previous state and will be reactivated,” Belneftekhim spokesman Alexander Tischenko commented on the matter.
Russian partners were notified about the ongoing process. A dispute between Moscow and Minsk over oil supply led the traditional suppliers to Belarus to halt oil exports to the state on 1 January.
Since the beginning of the year, the refineries in Mozyr and Novopolotsk have been operating at minimum load due to the lack of long-term contracts with Russian suppliers.
Oil export from Russia to Belarus in January 2020 amounted to 500 thousand tons, which is four times less than Belarus wanted. Oil is supplied only by the Safmar group of companies.
In January-February, they plan to supply 950 thousand tons of raw materials. Belarus also purchased 86 thousand tons of Norwegian oil. In addition, Belorusneft supplies its raw materials to the refineries, instead of exporting them as before.