Belarus to drastically raise oil transit tariffs Feb 15

MINSK, February 5 (Itar-Tass) - The Belarussian Economics Ministry from February 15, 2007 will drastically raise oil transit tariffs though the system of its trunk lines.

The ministry has set oil transit service tariffs without VAT at 1.29 to 3.5 US dollars per tonne of oil per 100 kilometres.

The currently in effect tariffs of oil transit through the Belarussian territory - 0.41-0.6 dollars per tonne of oil, had been coordinated with the Russian Fuel and Energy Ministry in December 1995 in dollars and have not been changed since.

During 2005, the Belneftekhim group repeatedly made proposals to the Belarussian government on increasing the transit price. Taking into consideration growing expenses of oil pumping through the pipeline system, the company proposed to raise the transportation price 1.5-two times depending on direction.

However, the Belarussian government considered it inexpedient to raise prices of services on transit of Russian oil via the Belarussian territory before the transition to new terms of Russian oil supply to the country.

In 2006, the amount of Russian oil pumped in transit through Belarus accounted for 78.7 million tonnes (98.9 percent compared to the 2005 level).