Belarus Looking for Oil in Latin America
The Venezuelan oil and energy minister announced a new Belarus-Venezuela oil project the Orinoco River Basin.
Belarus and Venezuela have agreed to invest $8 billion in joint development and production in that area. Belarus depends heavily on Russia, which provides most of supplies as well as crude oil for large refineries in Navapolatsk and Mazyr. The desire of Belarus authorities to diversify its energy supplies is understandable and plausible. However, the economic sense of getting oil supplies to North-Eastern Europe from South America, 10 000 kilometers away is doubtful.
Apparently, the political component of such projects dominates over economic reason. Given the U.S. sanctions against Belneftekhim, the largest state-run group of oil companies in Belarus and Russia’s increasing unwillingness to subsidize the Belarusian economy Minsk is forced to look for friends on the other side of the globe.