Russian section of Russia-China oil pipeline launched



MOSCOW, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Russia on Sunday officially launched the Russian section of an oil pipeline that delivers east Siberian oil to China.

At the opening ceremony of the branch of Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline that held in Skovorodino in the fareastern Amur region, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hailed the pipeline as a multidimensional project to enhance Moscow-Beijing energy cooperation.

"These are not just energy resources supplies to China, this is a really comprehensive project that has strengthened our energy cooperation," said Putin as quoted by news agencies.

The Russian prime minister said the project is of importance for diversifying Russia's supplies of strategic commodity, in that it would enlarge Russian oil supplies to the Asia Pacific region.

"We will deliver 30 million tons of oil and, in case of expansion, 50 million tons to the Asia-Pacific Region," he said. Currently some 120-130 million tons of Russian oil went to Europe.

The ESPO pipeline, running from Taishet in eastern Siberia to Nakhodka, is more than 4,000 km long. The first section of ESPO pipeline has already been set into operation last December.

The Russia-China branch of ESPO pipeline, which runs from Skovorodino to China's northeastern city of Daqing, is designed to pump up to 220,000 tons of crude per day from Siberia to the Far East and then on to China and the Asia-Pacific region, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

"The implementation of this project is a crucial task for Russia and our Chinese friends. It means stabilization of supplies and energy balance for China, and for us it creates entry to new challenging markets, in this particular case, to the growing market of China," Putin went on.

He noted that Russian cooperation with China was not limited to hydrocarbons, but also in military and technical sectors, manufacturing and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Nonetheless, head of the Russian government stressed the difficulties lying ahead concerning the project.

"Chinese friends will have to work for a while. Major efforts are ahead for them - 930 km (of the pipeline) should be put up, these are high-technology operations," he said.

"I am absolutely confident that Russian oil will enter China this year," he added.


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-08/29/c_13468089.htm