Seaborne, Saudi Oil Supplies to Poland at Highs Amid Belarus Tensions

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Poland raised its seaborne oil imports as well as crude supplies from Saudi Arabia to multi-year highs in October amid tensions with neighboring Belarus and talks on new supply deals with Russia, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and traders.

Relations between Belarus and the European Union have hit their lowest point this autumn since the Cold War as several thousand migrants from the Middle East arrived in the ex-Soviet republic hoping to cross the border into the EU.

Belarussian authorities have also threatened to block Russian natural gas exports to Poland amid the stand-off.

The data showed that the Polish port of Gdansk had boosted oil imports last month to the highest level since May 2019, when supplies from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline were halted over contamination.

According to Reuters' calculations, Poland imported 2 million tons through the port last month, amounting to around three quarters of the needs of the local refineries.

“The increase in seaborne imports is part of a strategy to safeguard independence from the eastern neighbors,” a source at an oil major told Reuters about Poland's move to increase supplies via Gdansk.

Traders said supplies of Russian Urals oil blend via the Druzhba pipeline stood at 610,000 tons in October compared to some 2 million tons via Gdansk, of which at least 800,000 tons were the Arab Light blend from Saudi Arabia, the highest level in the past few years.

Traders said the Russian Urals blend is cheaper than the Arab Light, but this has not stopped Poland from raising its imports from the Middle East.

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