Beijing: The first oil pipeline between Russia and China become operational on Saturday, marking growing ties between the world`s biggest oil producer and its biggest energy consumer.
The 1000-km-long pipeline which will supply 15 million tonnes of crude oil to China annually has formally commissioned by Yao Wei, general manager of Pipeline Branch of Petro China Co, Ltd (PBPC) at the China-Russia border county of Mohe in Heilongjiang province, official media here reported.
Oil began flowing through the pipeline that links Siberia with refineries in the northeastern Chinese city of Daqing at 11:50 am local time after two months of testing.
PBPC is the operator of the Chinese section of the pipeline.
"The operation of the China-Russia crude oil pipeline is the start of a new phase in China-Russia energy cooperation," Yao said.
He said the pipeline will improve the nation`s energy-imports structure and promote economic development.
The pipeline which was constructed with the USD 25 billion loan provided by China to Russia will transport 15 million tonnes of crude oil annually from Russia to China from 2011 to 2030.
The figure is equivalent to 15 million tons a year, or 7 percent of China`s oil consumption last year.
The Sino-Russian pipeline is part of the 4,700-km East Siberia-Pacific Ocean line, which is designed to export Russian crude oil to Asia-Pacific markets.
Chinese energy experts say that the pipeline would make Russian oil a more straightforward, consistent and long lasting alternative to Middle East and African sources, which currently make up 80 percent of China`s oil imports.
Currently, China imports crude oil from Angola, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia. Russia at present exports nine million tons of oil a year to China through the rail lines.
The pipeline, replaces railways to become the prime transport of Russian crude oil to China.