Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko proposed that Azerbaijan deliver oil to the country through a "swap" scheme. He voiced the proposal at a meeting with State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) President Rovnag Abdullayev, Itar-Tass reported.
"I think if we agree (on the delivery of Azerbaijani oil to Belarusian refineries) and, above all, on this 'swap' scheme, then you would get $10 per ton. We would also win. I think it would be the right move," Lukashenko said.
The issue concerns transporting Azerbaijani oil to Belarusian refineries via the Odessa-Brody Pipeline to the Druzhba Pipeline and then to Belarusian refineries. The oil would replace the oil that Belarus currently buys in Venezuela. The sides would save on transport costs, Lukashenko said.
"This route also enables Sarmatia to supply oil from the Caspian region to Poland, albeit via a longer route, as there is still no pipeline from Brody to Adam's Gate," Sarmatia International Pipeline Company CEO Sergei Skripka said earlier. "This route is 400 kilometers longer than our planned route."
The Odessa-Brody oil transportation project sought to diversify oil supplies to Ukrainian refineries and develop the country's transit potential. The construction of the pipeline was completed in May 2002. Its trunk has a length of 674 kilometers, with a pipe diameter of 1,020 millimeters. The capacity of the pipeline and the terminal is 9-14 million tons per year during the first stage.
Over the two years since the pipeline's construction, Ukraine has unsuccessfully negotiated the transportation of Caspian oil in the forward direction. As the country was unable to receive any concrete proposals from companies, the Ukrainian government authorized the use of pipeline for transporting Russian oil in the reverse direction in late June 2004.
Sarmatia was created under an oil transportation project via the Odessa-Brody-Gdansk-Plotsk route. Azerbaijan has the role of a major supplier. Azerbaijan can also operate as a transit country. Azerbaijan can supply its own oil, as well as oil from Central Asia.
Sarmatia's participants include SOCAR, the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation Ltd. (GOGC), Ukrainian Ukrtransnafta, Polish Przedsiebiorstwo Eksploatacji Rurociagow Naftowych Przyjazn SA and Lithuanian AB Klaipedos Nafta.