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22 December 2015

Lukashenko orders surveying for new oil deposits in Belarus

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko held a government conference on 18 December to discuss the state and prospects of development of Belarus' raw materials base. Alexander Lukashenko gave instructions to fully examine promising areas in the country for possible new oil deposits, BelTA has learned.

The Orsha depression in Vitebsk Oblast and the Podlaska-Brest depression in Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast will be surveyed. These territories are understudied for now. Specialists should turn their attention towards them now.

Participants of the government conference also talked about the implementation of projects meant to increase peat usage by cement mills instead of imported coal. The enterprises are expected to use about 420,000 tonnes of peat bricks in 2016-2017. The government expects the conversion will save about $15-20 million per annum.

The head of state was informed about the program aimed at studying mineral resources and developing the raw materials base in Belarus in 2016-2020. The document provides for looking for already explored commercial minerals and their new kinds. Regional operations will be carried out in poorly explored areas and at great depths.

At present there are 82 oil deposits in Belarus, with the industrial group Belorusneft operating 75 of them. Seven deposits are being prepared for commercial use. All the discovered deposits have been found in the Pripyat depression in Gomel Oblast and Mogilev Oblast. Every year Belarus extracts 1.64 million tonnes of oil. There are over 9,000 peat deposits in the country, with their geological reserves close to 4 billion tonnes. Every year as much as 1.240 million tonnes of peat bricks is made. Over 10,000 deposits of various kinds of commercial minerals have been found in Belarus.