четверг, 6 ноября 2008 г.

RUSSIAN OIL AND GAS PROJECTS BOOST SECURITY IN FAR EAST


In Sakhalin the construction of 800-kilometer oil and gas pipeline has been completed. Today it is being filled with oil and gas. Approximately in a month oil from the shelf deposits of the Sea of Okhotsk will reach the port of Prigorodnoe in the south of Sakhalin, the first super-tanker is expected to leave the port in the end of the year. Another Russian project on the Asian market, oil pipeline form East Siberia to the Pacific, has just been launched. Recently during a visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Moscow agreements were signed on laying down a leg of that oil pipeline and a memorandum on cooperation in the oil sector.

The East Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline is meant to export Russian oil from East Siberia to markets in Asia and the Pacific and to China. The cost of the project is 15 billion dollars. 600 million of that sum will go into the construction of a 70-kilometer-long leg to China. Russian Transneft building company plans to begin the construction of that leg in the spring of 2009. The head of the Russian Institute of Oil and Gas Anatoly Dmitrievsky believes that the leg opens up new export opportunities for Russia. Here is what he says.

At present the East Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline resolves the problem of connecting oil deposits scattered in the Irkutsk region, the south of the Krasnoyarsk region and the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia. What is noteworthy is that the transfer of the projected pipeline to the north of the Lake Baikal allowed a connection of all those oil deposits and filling of the oil pipeline ahead of the time that was set earlier.

Capacity of the Chinese leg is 15 million tons of oil a year. Approximately the same amount of oil Russia can deliver by the country’s railways. Here is more from Anatoly Dmitrievsky.

At present Russia delivers oil to China by railway—-from 10 to 15 tons a year. There are plans for marked increase of oil deliveries to the People’s Republic of China. And certainly, what matters is that Russia has access to the Pacific coast. All Russian pipelines in the past, both oil and gas, were oriented to the West. Oil was mainly delivered to European countries. Tankers arriving in other regions of the world were rather scarce.

By the end of 2009 the first stage of the East Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline is expected to be completed-—from the town of Taishet in the Irkutsk region to Skovorodino in the Amur region, its annual capacity will be 30 million tons of oil. In Skovorodino 5-kilometer-long underwater crossing across the River Amur will be built, in the middle of it the pipeline will go into directions: to the port of Kozmino on the Pacific coast and to China. The agreement with China on the construction of a leg from the East Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline proves that Russia is prepared to ensure energy security of its partners both in the West and in the East.

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