Belarus looks to import oil via Lithuanian port - report

VILNIUS (AFX) - Representatives from Belarus have visited Klaipedos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil), the operator of an oil and oil product terminal in Klaipeda, to explore the technical possibilities for importing oil via the Lithuanian seaport, the Lietuvos Rytas daily reported.

In a BNS news agency report, Klaipedos Nafta CEO Jurgis Ausra said, "not every terminal can handle oil product shipments by sea. Our terminal can. We have experience in importing Orimulsion (a bitumen-based fuel) from Venezuela." Klaipedos Nafta does, however, have an agreement in place with Mazeikiu Nafta (Mazeikiai Oil), which gives the oil refinery a priority right to reserve the terminal's tanks for its products.

Poland's PKN Orlen, which bought Mazeikiu Nafta at the end of last year, also had it's sights on Klaipedos Nafta. But the government, which currently holds a 70.6% stake in Klaipedos Nafta, is not willing to lose control of the company.

Sources at the Economy Ministry say if the government did decide to sell a stake in Klaipedos Nafta, it would be no more than 15 pct.