3 Jan 2011 13:42

Belarus agrees with Russia on importing 21.7 mln tonnes of oil, 22.5 bcm of gas in 2011

MINSK. Jan 3 (Interfax) - Belarus has agreed with Russia on the possibility of importing 21.7 million tonnes of oil in 2011, Belarusian Deputy Economy Minister Anatoly Filonov told Interfax.

"We agreed with the Russian side on the possible delivery of 21.7 million tonnes of oil to Belarus in 2011, 18 million tonnes of that amount by pipelines," he said commenting on the compilation of the fuel and energy balance of the Belarus-Russia union state.

He said that unlike previous years the balance for 2011 is indicative, not binding.

He said that the balance does not take into account oil deliveries from Venezuela.

The operator of oil imports from Venezuela, the Belarusian Oil Company earlier confirmed the plans of shipping 10 million tonnes in 2011, 5 million tonnes out of that amount under a swap deal with Azerbaijan.

"The balance also implies the delivery of 22.5 billion cubic metes of Russian natural gas in 2011," Filonov said.

He said that the fuel balance of the union state is expected to be signed shortly after the finalization of the Russian energy balance. According to the Russian Central Dispatcher Department, Russian oil deliveries to Belarus in the first 11 months of 2010 dropped 43.1% year-on-year to 11.525 million tonnes.

The drop in imports can be accounted to a quota for duty-free oil deliveries in the amount of 6.3 million tonnes. On the rest of the shipments 100% export duty was slapped.

In line with interstate agreements as of 2011 Russia will be delivering all the oil to Belarus duty-free given the ratification of agreements on the Common Economic Space by Belarus.