Moscow Cutting Minsk's Oil Supply by 42%
- Sep. 18 2013 00:00
- Last edited 17:40
Russiaáwill cut oil pipeline supplies toáBelarusáby 42 percent in the fourth quarter amid a spat over the arrest of a Russian potash industry boss ináMinskálast month, an export schedule showed Tuesday.
According to the schedule,áRussiaáwill ship 3.1 million tons of oil, 62,000 barrels per day, to refineries ináBelarusávia a pipeline from October to December, down from 5.3 million tons originally planned for the third quarter.
Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has also said oil shipments toáBelarusáwould be cut by 233,000 tons in September due to pipeline repairs.
The full fourth-quarter schedule of oil transit via Transneft has not yet been approved, industry sources said.áRussia's total oil exports had been expected to decrease as more local refineries would be coming onstream after a heavy maintenance schedule in September.
News of the cuts followed the arrest of Vladislav Baumgertner, chief executive of the world's top potash producer, Uralkali, atáMinskáairport Aug. 26, while the Belarusian leadership wasá infuriated at the company's withdrawal from a potash cartel with state-owned Belaruskali.
Relations betweenáRussiaáandáBelarusáhave been bumpy with sporadic spats over gas pricing and food quality. Last month's arrest shook relations between the two countries, though generally,áMoscowáand Minskáare seen as allies.
The forthcoming cuts were first flagged by Deputy Prime MinisteráArkady Dvorkovich, who has insisted thatáRussiaáwould supply Belarusian refineries with 18.5 million tons of oil this year, not 23 million tons asáMinskáhas hoped.
Russiaáhas supplied its neighbor with about 5.75 million tons of oil each quarter so far this year, or more than 17 million tons so far, both by pipeline and railroad.