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ruben.maritime

The first web2.0 spanish blog about Maritime Affairs. El primer blog web2.0 español sobre el sector marítimo.

Russians stand firm on Druzhba

MOSCOW 10 January – Russian officials have told a delegation from Belarus there can be no resumption of crude oil shipments through the Druzhba pipeline unless the Minsk government withdraws its transit fee hike. Belarus had been charging a nominal transit fee to Russian pipeline operator Transneft until last week, when it raised the fee substantially. Minsk officials did this in retaliation for the Moscow decision to end the duty-free regime for oil crossing the border, and impose a $180.70 per tonne export duty on crude from Russian producers. The duty-free regime originated in 1995, when the export duty was to be charged at Belarus’s western border, and the proceeds divided between the Belarus and Russian government budgets, 15% to the former, 85% to the latter. In 2001, Belarus abandoned the scheme, Russian officials claim, adding that more than $3.5Bn in revenues have been foregone by the Russian treasury, amounting to a subsidy to Belarus refining and export of petroleum products. Of the 1.3M barrels a day of crude Transneft piped across Belarus, about 400,000 barrels went to the Belarus refineries, and almost 1M barrels went on to Germany, Poland and other central European destinations. Russian producers may divert about half of this to domestic Russian refineries, and route another 200,000 barrels for export through the Black Sea or Baltic, where unseasonably warm weather currently allows an increase in tanker loadings.

 

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