KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The government of Belarus has guaranteed the transit of 1.4 billion barrels of oil for the Odessa-Brody pipeline in 2011, a Ukrainian official said.
Andriy Kliuyev, the Ukrainian minister of economic development and trade, said during talks with delegates from Belarus that 2011 trade agreements were focused on the energy sector.
Belarus, he said, agreed to ship 1.4 billion barrels of oil through the Odessa-Brody pipeline in the direct mode for its national refineries, the National News Agency of Ukraine reports.
The 419-mile pipeline had been operated 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.
Kiev said it was examining alternative suppliers to help shuttle oil through the pipeline in its intended direction.
Ports at Odessa are expecting two oil tankers worth of oil each month under the terms of an October contract between Kiev and Sofia.
Ukrainian energy company Ukrtransnafta said it anticipates more than 570,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil at the Odessa port. The oil was purchased by Belarus and is to be transported by rail to Ukrainian terminals.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in November that a deal with Venezuela means his country can pull back on the amount of oil it gets from Russia.