Belarus Buys Crude Oil From Iran

Belarus Buys Crude Oil  From IranBelarus Buys Crude Oil  From Iran

Belarus has made its first purchase of Iranian crude oil after the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran last year, media reported on Friday, as Minsk is making efforts to reduce its dependence on Russian supplies.

The ex-Soviet state has reportedly bought 80,000 tons, or nearly 600,000 barrels of crude oil from Iran, according to state news agency IRNA, citing Russian sources.

Shipment is expected to be made next week by the National Iranian Oil Company as per the order of Belarusian Oil Company, aka Beloil.

The consignment is to be sent to the Ukrainian port of Odessa in the Black Sea and from there to landlocked Belarus, Russia Construction news portal said on Thursday.

Tehran and Minsk have stepped up talks on oil export in the past few months.

In a visit to Tehran in December, Belarusian Minister of Industry Vitaly Vovk discussed the export of crude oil and byproducts and production of oil equipment in a meeting with Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

President Alexander Lukashenko had also said in October that Belarus could join the growing list of Iran's crude oil customers as the OPEC-member was seeking to expand its foothold in Europe and recoup the ground it lost in the global oil market due to financial and trade restrictions.

French energy company Total S.A., Italy's Eni and Saras, Greek refiner Hellenic Petroleum, Russia's Lukoil, Spanish refiner Cepsa, Royal Dutch Shell, Hungary’s MOL and Turkey's Tupras are among the list of Iran's crude oil customers. Turkey and Italy were the top importers of Iranian crude last month at 190,000 barrels per day in January as Spain and Greece each took in 97,000 bpd. Iran used to sell around 800,000 bpd to European buyers before the tightening of international sanctions in 2011 and 2012.

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