China, Belarus delay Russia Q1 oil export plan-sources

* Rosneft seeks additional pipeline space for China supplies

* Removal of Belarus export tariffs yet to be confirmed

* Transneft to become nominal shipper of crude

(Adds quotes from industry sources, Transneft, Rosneft no-comment)

By Gleb Gorodyankin

MOSCOW, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Russia's first quarter oil export schedule is being delayed by questions about Rosneft's (ROSN.MM: Quote) quota as it boosts deliveries to China and by uncertainty over export tariffs to Belarus, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft (TRNF_p.MM: Quote) normally ships crude volumes in line with the previous quarter's export schedule if the new quarter begins without a confirmed schedule.

Industry sources said the first quarter schedule would likely be approved in the coming days.

"The quarterly schedule is not signed yet. They are thinking about China and Belarus. The issues are still unresolved," one oil industry source said.

Rosneft is due to begin overland deliveries to China through a new spur from the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline. In order to avoid cutting shipments to other customers as it increase deliveries to China, it is requesting more capacity than it normally receives under rules governing total Russian pipeline allocations. Rosneft's spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Transneft itself may be allocated space in the pipeline this quarter for China shipments, industry sources also said.

Under the same agreement, which granted Transneft a multi-billion dollar loan to finance the pipeline and its spur to the Chinese border, the pipeline monopoly will formally sell the oil to earn the revenue which will repay the loan.

"This is a formal agreement linked to the issue of loans backed by oil. The oil will still be delivered by Rosneft. The Rosneft oil will become Transneft's oil at the point of sale," Transneft spokesman Igor Dyomin said.

"Transneft will own it for just a few metres of pipeline."

Dyomin declined to answer questions on the export schedule.

Export duties on shipments of Russian crude to Belarus have yet to be formally dropped, another factor holding up the schedule, the sources said.

Russia and Belarus reached an accord on duties earlier this month under which Russia agreed to drop export duties on shipments to Belarus, while Minsk would hand Moscow the duty it receives from exporting products refined from Russian oil. [ID:nLDE6B81I2] (Reporting by Gleb Gorodyankin; writing by Melissa Akin; editing by Keiron Henderson)


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