Posted: 19.03.2024 15:30:00

‘Go and search for what the country needs’

The Head of State, Aleksandr Lukashenko, held a meeting on the state and development
of the mineral resource base of the country, the expansion of geological exploration, including hydrocarbon raw materials 

Gomel Region, Rechitsa District, oil production     Ivan Yarivanovich

In total, about five dozen different types of mineral resources have been discovered in Belarus. The country is in Europe’s top 10 in terms of availability of some of them. However, Aleksandr Lukashenko has warned against complacency. The President has stressed that domestic mineral resources are of paramount importance, since they are the key to sovereignty and stable economic development of the country. This is especially relevant now, against
the background of sanctions pressure.
The first thing the Head of State drew attention to was the level of oil production in Belarus. During the Soviet times, it stood at about 8 million tonnes per year, and even reached 9 million tonnes, according to some sources. In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko posed a reasonable question: why has the production level dropped significantly, and what opportunities are there to increase it?
“Everyone knows the natural and geological conditions in Belarus. We used to extract 9 million tonnes of oil. Let’s say 8. Today, the volume stands at about 2 million tonnes. I am getting explanations that the oil reserves have been depleted. I do not believe it,” the Belarusian leader stated.  
Experts have noted that reserves and potential are available, and this is confirmed by the annual increase in proven reserves. There is no talk about mining to the detriment of the country. The main task is to work better and at a higher qualitative level. 
“We need to manage the available resources wisely and cost-consciously. As for the resources we do not have now but expect to get — we must explore and look for them,” the President stressed. “Belarus would be a rich country if we mined 5 million tonnes of oil rather than 2. That is where the reason for considering this issue comes from.” Aleksandr Lukashenko considers the reliance on the country’s own raw material base especially relevant now, when sanctions pressure against Belarus is increasing every year. “Therefore, I repeat once again — go and explore, search for what the country needs. Minerals prices are rising every year. Yet, instead of taking measures and making use of what literally lies under our feet, we pay without complaints. Our common goal is not only to make products with the maximum use of domestic raw materials. There are three pillars, three growth drivers that will enable us to develop further — efficiency, import substitution and export,” the Head of State set the task.  


Pukhovichi District. Peat Briquette Plant 'Sergeevichskoye'      Vitaly Pivovarchik

Minsk Region, potassium mining       Aleksandr Kulevsky

Belaruskali JSC, mining    ALEKSANDR KULEVSKY


• About 50 types of mineral resources with significant reserves have been discovered in Belarus, which puts it in top 10 leading European countries on individual indicators.
• Over the past seven years, an increase in industrial reserves has been ensured: oil — about 14 million tonnes, potassium salts — 783 million tonnes, basalts — 54 million tonnes, chalk rocks for cement — about 8 million tonnes, glass sand — 15 million tonnes.
• In 2023, the level of potassium salt production was 170% (compared to the level of 2022), glass sand — 115%, building stone — 113%, facing stone — 101%. In total, the volume of mining production in 2023 amounted to 104.3% compared to the level of 2022. 

Interesting facts about oil production in Belarus 

• In August and October 1933, the first industrial oil inflows were received in Byelorussia [since September 19, 1991 — Belarus].
• In June 2015, drilling of the deepest well in Belarus, the 1st Predrechitskaya, was finished. Its actual depth was 6,755 metres.
• In 2022, a new oilfield and deposits were discovered in Gomel Region in several zones of the Pripyat Trough. 

Gomel Region, Mozyr Oil Refinery     IVAN YARIVANOVICH

Novopolotsk, Naftan Oil refinery        Anton Stepanischev

Based on materials of and