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Belarus: Oil, Gas, Transit Pipelines and Russian Foreign Energy Policy
Global Market Briefings, January 2006, Pages: 56
Belarus relies on Russia for about 85% of its total energy needs, while Russia needs Belarus’ oil and gas pipelines to export its supplies to Western Europe. How will energy exports from Russia and Belarus’ transit capabilities impact Western Europe if this interdependent relationship ends, either through political changes in Belarus or if Russia ends its energy subsidies to Belarus? This report looks at transit, infrastructure and investment issues and analyzes both the state of the current infrastructure, as well as the possibilities this transit opens to Western investors, particularly as the Yamal Pipeline nears completion. In addition, it looks at the current conflict between Belarus and Russian investors for control of the country’s gas transit system and oil refineries. Part of the Russian Foreign Energy Policy Report series.
Executive summary; Introduction; 1. An overview of Belarus’ energy situation; 1.1 Production, dependency, mix and diversification; 1.2 Price structure; 2. Energy and politics in the Belarusian-Russian relationship; 2.1 Rents of energy dependency; 2.2 How rents of energy dependency help keep the Lukashenka regime afloat; 2.3 State interests and business interests in Russian preferential energy prices to Belarus; 2.4 Energy and the deterioration of the Russian-Belarusian relationship; 2.5 Explaining Lukashenka's anti-Russian behaviour; 3. Gas transit; 3.1 The Yamal pipeline; 3.2 Gazprom and control over Yamal; 3.3 Completing Yamal and support for Lukashenka; 3.4 Domestic implications of freezing Yamal 2; 3.5 The battle for control of Beltransgaz; 4. Oil and oil transit; 4.1 Conflict over ownership of oil product pipelines; 4.2 Belarus’ refinery system; 4.3 Ownership of oil refining companies; 4.4 Patterns of energy privatization negotiations with Russia; 4.5 Policy-making under Lukashenka; 5. Future turning points in Russian-Belarusian energy relations; 5.1 Gas pricing; 5.2 Transit issues; 5.3 Alternative systems for the supply and transit of gas and oil; 5.4 Openings for Western companies