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Transneft Plans to Finish Oil Link Bypassing Belarus Next Year

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Transneft, Russia’s oil pipeline operator, aims to complete construction on a link bypassing Belarus to a Baltic Sea port in Russia sooner than planned.

The second phase of the Baltic Pipeline System, or BTS-2, may be completed in December of 2011, earlier than the original timeline of the third quarter of 2012, Chief Executive Officer Nikolai Tokarev told journalists in Moscow today.

A dispute with neighboring Belarus over the price of transit, taxes and oil purchases threatened to halt deliveries of Russian oil to Europe earlier this year.

The timing of the construction of the terminal at the Russian Baltic port of Ust Luga will depend on coordinating work with neighboring terminals being built by Rosneft and natural gas producer OAO Novatek.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow sbierman1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net.

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