Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Bloomberg: Belarus ranked as world's third most oil-dependent economy

Belsat / BelaPAN

Belarus has been ranked as the world's third most oil-dependent economy in a survey by US news agency Bloomberg. The list is topped by Libya, which is followed by Singapore. The countries have been ranked based on an expected increase in the share of oil and petroleum product exports in their GDPs between 1993 and 2018.

Belarus' oil and petroleum product exports made up just 0.5 percent of GDP in 1993. Bloomberg expects the share to increase to 13.9 percent by 2018. Belarus exported $1.1 billion worth of crude oil and $9.3 billion worth of petroleum products from January through November last year.

Taking into account that Belarus’ total exports during the period from January to November reached $32.5 bn the oil constituent is apparent to provide one third of foreign currency inflow to our country.

At the same time, the Belarusian authorities are negotiating an increase in the amount of Russian crude oil to be refined in our country.

For example, the government offered to sell its stake in Mazyr Oil Refinery to Rosneft in exchange for an increase in the amount of crude oil supplied by the Russian company to Belarus to 20 million tons by 2020, Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Prakapovich said at a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic. According to the top official, Minsk wanted Rosneft to cut its exports to the European Union and supply more crude to Belarus instead.

Independent experts express misgivings that the government's efforts to make oil refining key to economic growth could stem the development of other economic sectors.