KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A Ukrainian energy company said it started pumping Venezuelan oil through the Odessa-Brody pipeline in the direct mode during a test run.
Ukrainian energy company Ukrtransnafta said it was expecting more than 570,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil at the Odessa port by Thursday. The oil was purchased by Belarus and is to be transported by rail to Ukrainian terminals, the National News Agency of Ukraine reports.
Ports at Odessa are expecting two oil tankers worth of oil each month under the terms of an October contract between Kiev and Sofia. The oil is designated for Odessa-Brody.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Nov. 12 that a deal with Venezuela means his country can pull back on the amount of oil it gets from Russia.
He said Russia should examine its energy investment strategy because he felt the European community was looking for alternative supplies, including Venezuela.
The 419-mile pipeline had been operated in the reverse direction toward Russia following supply concerns. Russian oil is delivered to the Odessa-Brody pipeline from a junction of the Druzhba pipeline, the longest in the world.