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Belarusian refineries enter contracts for Russian oil supplies at price of $4 per barrel

Earlier this year, Belarus stopped buying Russian oil and demanded that the price formula be changed

MINSK, April 3. /TASS/. Belarusian oil refineries began to conclude contracts with Russian oil companies for the volume of oil supplies in April at the price of $4 per barrel, spokesperson for the Belarusian state oil and gas company Belneftekhim Alexander Tishchenko announced on Friday.

"Yesterday, on April 2, 2020, Belarusian refineries began entering contracts for April oil supplies from the oil companies. In total, according to commercial offers, the total volume of the supplies is planned at 2 million tonnes," Tishchenko said in a statement.

"By the time the resources were confirmed the suppliers' prices for Urals oil for Belarus amounted to $4 per barrel." He also noted that issues related to payment of premiums to Russian suppliers would be resolved via inter-budgetary settlements.

The press service of Belneftekhim recalled that, as Russia’s Finance Ministry stated earlier, "they will be able to proceed with inter-budgetary settlements only after signing the contracts."

"The parties’ comments do not contain any contradictions either in price, or in the volume of deliveries, or in terms of premiums to Russian oil companies," the Belneftekhim press service noted.

Earlier this year, Belarus stopped buying Russian oil and demanded that the price formula be changed. Minsk claimed that under that formula Belarusian refineries paid a premium to Russian suppliers in addition to the price itself for the fact that they received crude duty free. The amount of the premium was agreed individually for each company, but the maximum premium was $12 per tonne to export netback (the price of oil in the Baltic ports excluding transportation costs).

The Safmar Group was the only oil supplier that continued to supply crude to Belarusian refineries. Belarus also continues to buy oil from traders, supplying it via the port of Klaipeda (Lithuania). Minsk also buys Azerbaijani oil through the port of Odessa (Ukraine) and via the Odessa-Brody pipeline.

On March 21, the Prime Ministers of Belarus and Russia, Sergei Rumas and Mikhail Mishustin had a phone conversation discussing the resumption of oil supplies from Russia to the Belarusian refineries. On March 24, Rumas said that Russian oil companies would deliver oil to Belarus without premiums and part of the premiums would be compensated by the Russian government via inter-budgetary settlements. On April 2, the Belarusian prime minister announced that the republic planned to buy 2 mln tonnes of oil in Russia at the price of $4 per barrel in April.