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Belarus purchases crude from Norway's Johan Sverdrup field


Belarusian oil company BNK has purchased a batch of Norwegian crude Johan Sverdrup to be shipped via Lithuania's Klaipeda port on 22 January, reports via Reuters.

BNK reportedly purchased the Johan Sverdrup crude from France’s Total.

Some 80,000 tonnes of Johan Sverdrup oil will be supplied by rail to Belarus’s Naftan refinery, Belneftekhim said.

“We expect the shipment, and will continue further negotiations then,” Belneftekhim said in response to a question from Reuters.

The Klaipeda port authorities have calculated that this shipment will cost Minsk much more than via the pipeline from Russia, as bringing oil by railway to the refinery will cost $20 per ton.

According to Reuters, Johan Sverdrup is a new Norwegian oilfield that began operations in the autumn of 2019. Its quality is very close to Russian Urals crude oil, which is supplied to Belarus.

Belarus and Russia failed to agree terms for new supplies in 2020 before the end of the year. Russia suspended supplies on 1 January, while the transit of Russian oil to the West continues without interruptions.

On 4 January, Mikhail Gutseriyev's companies began to supply crude to Belarusian refineries but their volume is not enough. They can provide only a half what Belarusian refineries need per month.

Minsk has turned to other countries seeking alternative oil supplies, including Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

The neighboring Lithuania and Latvia said they were ready to offer their seaports for the shipments of oil from elsewhere in the world.

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