The first ever barrels of US crude have been unloaded by Belarus’ Naftan refinery, according to Belneftekhim spokesman Alexander Tishchenko.

The 77,000 mt (around 565,000 barrels) cargo of Bakken crude, arrived at the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda on June 5 and is being delivered by rail together with the remaining barrels of Saudi oil purchased by Belarus in late April. The first delivery contained 17 tank cars of US crude, with the rest arriving at Naftan over the next 10 days.

Tishchenko said: “US oil has already begun flowing at Naftan. At noon, we started unloading oil tanks that arrived earlier this morning.”

This shipment marks the 12th tanker of oil Belarus has purchased in 2020 as the country continues to seek alternative suppliers, following a disagreement with Russia over crude supply terms. 

Elsewhere, Belarus has already received similar volumes from Saudi Arabia, Norway, and Azerbaijan.

In total, Belarus has purchased over 1 million mt, or 7.33 million barrels, of oil from alternative suppliers since the beginning of the year.

In May, Belarusian refineries also received 1.13 million mt, or 267,190 b/d, of oil from Russia.

The volume necessary for the optimal running of Belarusian refineries is 2 million mt.

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15th June 2020