Belarus arrives to tap oil business opportunities | business | Hindustan Times
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Belarus arrives to tap oil business opportunities

business Updated: Dec 25, 2007 20:29 IST
Deepak Joshi
Deepak Joshi
Hindustan Times

In a significant development for the growing Indian hydrocarbon sector, Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry (Belneftekhim) has sought government permission to set up a liaison office. The representative office is expected to comprehensively represent the interests of the Belarusian state-owned enterprise in the Indian market from image building and information gathering to customer introduction as regards oil and other activities.

The government had earlier this month flagged off seventh round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VII) and put 57 oil and gas blocks on offer. Of the 57 offers offered-- 19 in deepwater, 9 shallow water and 29 onland blocks.

Belneftkhim, which has free reserves of $ 5.6 million, manages the full cycle of works connected with crude oil exploration and production, transportation, refining and production sales in Belarus. Other important activities of the company, includes production of fertilizers, man-made fibres and yarns, glass fabrics, car tyres, paints and varnished plastics.

The company is responsible for all petrochemical activities in Belarus and comprises the largest enterprise in that country. Belneftekhim currently owns over 50 subsidiaries and organizations with total personnel of over 1 lakh employees. Belneftekhim already has presence in China and Europe though its operations are facing problems due to tough measures taken by the United States.

The United States last month had prohibited Americans from doing business with the state-owned Belarusian oil processor. The action against the company extends to its offices in Germany, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia and China. The sanctions also freeze any assets the oil monopoly has under US jurisdiction, including the wholly-owned US subsidiary, Belneftekhim, USA.

The sanctions stem from a 2006 executive order from US President Bush aimed at isolating Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, whom Bush has repeatedly referred to him as Europe’s last dictator.