By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) may supply up to 1 million tons of oil to Belarus in 2020, the Chairman of the Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry (Belneftekhim Concern) Andrey Ribakov has said while commenting on the recent meeting between Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Roumas and SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev.
“Volumes will increase from year to year. This year, we are talking about the volume of up to 1 million tons of oil. This will be determined every month based on economic, logistical factors, among others. However, it will be defined on a permanent basis”, Ribakov said.
The head of the concern recalled that Belarus has long-standing ties with SOCAR, since Belarusian refineries have already refined Azerbaijani oil: “Colleagues confirmed the possibility of continuing this strategic cooperation in the current year and subsequent years. It is, in a sense, international collaboration, as it will involve the pipeline system of Ukraine. It will ensure transportation of oil to the Mozyr Oil Refinery, including its refining and supply of oil products to Ukraine, Belarus, as well,” Ribakov stated.
“Today, agreement in principle has been reached on such strategic cooperation both in the current year and in subsequent years,” the chairman of the Belneftekhim mentioned.
The expansion of the Azerbaijani companies’ participation in investment projects in Belarus was also discussed with the management of SOCAR. Rybakov recalled that the special unit of SOCAR is already working at the Mozyr Oil Refinery.
“They [SOCAR] have established themselves as high-quality, reliable partners, fulfilling all their commitments on time. Therefore, the possible participation of SOCAR in projects at Naftan and other enterprises in the Belneftekhim concern system, as well as in projects in other sectors, was discussed,” Ribakov underlined.
Note that PM of Belarus Sergei Roumas and SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev met on March 2 in Belarus.
In the meeting, Belarusian PM mentioned that Belarus purchased oil from SOCAR in 2011 and 2016 and the Azerbaijani side also purchases Belarusian oil products.
“Obviously, it is impossible to speak of energy security in Belarus today without alternative oil supplies. Therefore, we are looking for reliable partners who can conclude long-term contracts in this area. Experience shows that SOCAR can be such a reliable partner,” Roumas said.
He expressed his hope that the meeting will be the next step towards strengthening bilateral ties between SOCAR and Belneftekhim concern in the oil industry.
As reported, SOCAR will send the first oil tanker for Belarus from the Turkish port of Ceyhan on March 5-6. The volume of oil sent will be about 85,000 tons. Approximately, on March 20, it is planned to ship a second tanker from the Georgian port of Supsa with a volume of about 85,000 tons.
Recently, it was reported that the infrastructure is almost ready for the transportation of Azerbaijani oil to the Mozyr Oil Refinery in Belarus from Ukraine through the Odessa-Brody pipeline.
It should be noted that Belneftekhim, which was established in 1997 performs a full cycle of works related to crude oil exploration and production, its transportation, refining and oil product sales.
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