Belarus Oil Firm Cancels 2022 Druzhba Pipeline Exports to Germany After EU Sanctions

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Belarusian oil company Belorusneft has cancelled its 2022 export plans to Germany via the Druzhba pipeline following new European Union sanctions on the company, three traders familiar with the matter said on Friday.

On Dec. 2, the EU imposed sanctions on several Belarusian individuals and entities, including Belorusneft. The new sanctions are aimed at increasing the pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko, accused by Western governments of rigging his election, ordering a massive crackdown on the opposition and pushing Middle Eastern migrants towards the border with Poland. Lukashenko denies the allegations.

Belorusneft exports most of its relatively modest oil production to Germany on a regular basis using Russia's Druzhba pipeline. In October-December, Belarus could supply about 450,000 tons of oil to Germany, according to the quarterly schedule. Trading firms supply the oil to the PCK Schewdt refinery in Germany, owned by Russia's Rosneft and Italy's Eni.

In November, Belorusneft issued a sales tender for 2022 supplies to Germany. But it only sold a part of the planned export volume, some 40,000 tons per month, to Shell, traders said. After the sanctions were announced, the companies cancelled the supply plans for 2022, two of the traders said.

Belorusneft did not respond to requests for comment. A Shell spokesperson said the company "complies with all relevant sanctions and all applicable laws" and declined further comment.

Belorusneft may divert oil eyed for export to its domestic refineries, traders said, which would result in lower Russian oil supplies to the country.

Shell could offset oil volumes expected from Belorusneft with its own production in Russia, traders said. Shell is a shareholder in Russian oil company Salym Petroleum Development. 

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