Moscow: Russia, the world's largest crude
exporter, on Monday launched a 2,757-kilometre "strategic"
pipeline that will supply oil to energy-hungry China and the
Asia Pacific region in its bid to reduce dependency on
problematic European markets.
With eyes on the growing Asian-Pacific markets and to
put an end to dependency on Western customers the Russian
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin formally inaugurated the USD
12.1 billion East-Siberia - Pacific Ocean Oil pipeline.
The ESPO is designed to pump up to 1.6 million barrels
of crude per day from Siberia to Russia's Far East and then to
China and the Asia-Pacific region.
"It is an important event for Russia. It is a
strategic project, which enables to enter new markets in the
Asia-Pacific region, where our presence was insufficient,"
Putin said pressing the button for loading the first crude on
a waiting tanker at the newly built Kozmino oil terminal.
According to RIA Novosti the project's first leg
envisages the construction of a 2,757-kilometre section with
annual capacity of 220.5 million barrels of crude. It will
link Taishet, in East Siberia's Irkutsk Region, to
Skovorodino, in the Amur Region, in Russia's Far East.
The second stretch will run 2,100 kilometres from
Skovorodino to the Pacific Ocean, currently the crude beyond
Skovorodino goes by railway to China and the Pacific Coast.
When complete it will pump 367.5 million barrels of oil
First Published: Monday, December 28, 2009, 16:01