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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 23.02.2020, 16:26

Belarus asks Lithuania's Klaipedos Nafta to handle its oil imports

BC, Vilnius, 15.01.2020.Print version
Lithuania's oil terminal operator Klaipedos Nafta says it has received a request from Belarus, locked in a row with Russia over oil supplies, to handle the neighboring country's crude imports, reported LETA/BNS.

"We have received an inquiry from Belarusian customers regarding crude oil imports through our terminal in January," Giedrius Sabaliauskas, the company's acting oil business director, told LETA/BNS.

According to him, Klaipedos Nafta is ready to handle crude oil from ships.

Belarus said on Tuesday it had sent oil import proposals to the Baltic countries, Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Minsk also admitted that talks on oil imports from Russia had produced no results so far.

Klaipedos Nafta's spokeswoman Orinta Barkauskaite confirmed t that the request had come from Belorusskaya Neftyanaya Kompaniya (Belarusian Oil Company, BNK) which exports oil products manufactured by Belarus' key refineries in Mozyr and Novopolotsk. 

The Lithuanian company says it can handle up to 3 mln tons of oil for Belarus which imported around 18 mln tons of crude from Russia last year.  

Arturas Drungilas, the Klaipeda port's marketing and corporate affairs director, says that in theory, Belarus could also import oil through Orlen Lietuva's Butinge oil terminal, but notes that the Mazeikiai crude refinery is a competitor to the Belarusian plants.  

"Technically, this is possible, because it is for crude imports that it (the Butinge terminal) is used now, but Orlen is a direct competitor to the Belarusian crude refineries," he said. 

Orlen Lietuva, the Lithuanian unit of Poland's Orlen, is now importing crude oil via Butinge solely for its own needs.

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