(Changes headline, writes through)
MOSCOW Jan 13 Russian oil exports to
neighbouring Belarus are expected to be 4 million tonnes in the
first quarter, officials at Russia's pipeline monopoly Transneft
said on Friday, down from the 4.5 million tonnes planned
According to a preliminary schedule, seen by Reuters last
month, Russian oil exports to Belarus, a former Soviet republic,
had been expected to rise to 4.5 million tonnes in the first
quarter from 3 million tonnes in the previous three months.
On Friday, Maxim Grishanin, Transneft's first deputy
president, said the plans called for 4 million tonnes in the
Russia has had a long history of oil and gas rows with its
neighbours, notably with Ukraine and Belarus.
Belarus has complained that a gas price of $132 per 1,000
cubic meters set by Russian gas group Gazprom in the
past few months is too high and has been paying less for gas
deliveries since the start of last year. Russia has said Belarus
owes around $300 million in gas payments.
Transneft and Russia's Energy Ministry have both said the
export schedule reflected planned allocations and that actual
volumes exported might differ.
Transneft's vice-president, Sergei Andronov, also told
reporters that the company expected crude oil exports to
countries outside of the former Soviet Union to be flat
year-on-year in 2017.
Transneft also plans to ship 2.4 million tonnes of oil
products to non-Russian Baltic ports in 2017, down from 3.2
million tonnes in 2016, Andronov said. Diesel exports via the
North pipeline in the Baltic Sea were expected to be 16.8
million tonnes this year, up from 15.2 million tonnes in 2016.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, writing by Maria Tsvetkova,
editing by Jack Stubbs and Jane Merriman)