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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Baltic pipeline to pump 1.3 mln bbl/d by mid-March - minister

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will pump 1.3 million barrels of oil a day via one of the country's ambitious energy projects by the middle of the month, the energy minister said Monday. Viktor Khristenko told a government session that the last stage of the Baltic Pipeline System would be completed by mid-March. Oil for the United States and Europe will be exported from the new Primorsk terminal, built in the Leningrad Region so Russia could export from its own ports rather than having to trans-ship through the Baltic states. Khristenko added that construction of the pipeline started in 2000, and the first section transported oil from West Siberia and Kazakhstan. The section, commissioned on December 27, 2001, had a capacity of 12 million metric tons a year (241,000 bbl/d). In 2003, the capacity was raised to 30 million (602,465 bbl/d), and then to 42 million (843,452 bbl/d) in February 2004, and subsequently 50 million (1 million bbl/d) in December 2005. The pipeline's current capacity is 55 million (1.1 million bbl/d). Khristenko said a 1,600-km pipeline, 17 refineries and an oil terminal in Primorsk have been built under the project and that, despite criticism of possible environmental impact, the pipeline met global ecological standards and was the best in the Baltics. He said stage-by-stage commissioning of the pipeline was justified, as the project would close with no debts owed. In late December 2004, the government accepted a proposal from the Industry and Energy Ministry and oil pipeline monopoly Transneft to expand the capacity of the pipeline to 60 million tons (1.2 million bbl/d). The government also approved a syndicated $250 million loan for Transneft to cover the third stage of the project.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Russia to build new Siberian gas pipeline by October

KHABAROVSK, March 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Far East will get another natural gas pipeline by October, a regional minister said Wednesday. Khabarovsk Territory Energy Minister Vladimir Slivko said the pipeline, slated to run from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to Khabarovsk, will make it possible for the regional center to switch its heating system from costly diesel and oil fuel to natural gas. Slivko said almost all of Komsomolsk's heating substations have already made the switch, and that this and other projects aimed at bringing natural gas to communities across the Far East will encourage Russians cut off from their country by the breakup of the Soviet Union to come and settle in the area. The Komsomolsk-Khabarovsk pipeline, projected to carry 4.5 billion cubic meters annually, will be part of a larger line linking the Pacific port of Vladivostok and the gas-rich Sakhalin Island. In January, the Khabarovsk Territory signed an agreement with natural-gas monopoly Gazprom to continue construction of the pipeline. It will begin supplying gas from Sakhalin to Vladivostok and neighboring cities along the Pacific coast in 2010.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Russia, China may discuss oil pipeline at talks - diplomat

BEIJING. March 16 (Interfax) - Russia and China may continue discussions of the construction of a Russian-Chinese oil pipeline during the Russian leadership's upcoming visit to China, Russian Ambassador in Beijing Sergei Razov said on Thursday. "Transneft and China National Petroleum Corporation are conducting practical consultations on particular issues. These matters concern the possible construction of a branch from the East Siberia - the Pacific Ocean pipeline from Skovorodino to the Chinese border. I believe negotiations on this issue will be continued during the visit," Razov said at a joint press conference with Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui in Beijing. "Energy cooperation remains among the priorities of Russian-Chinese interaction in the trade-economic area," the Russian diplomat said. "The energy industry and hydrocarbons are our priorities. These are advantages given to us by nature and by God and we will use them on a mutually complementary principle," he said. Russia plans to ship 15 million tonnes of oil to China by rail alone in 2006 and the two countries are also discussing possible shipments of Russian gas and electricity to China, Razov said. Talking about other Russian commodities that can be exported to China, Razov said, "Unfortunately, the share of machinery and equipment in the structure of Russian exports to China declined to extremely small figures in 2005," he said. Russian companies should be more active in competing on the Chinese market, offering hi-tech products, studying the Chinese market and organizing promotions and exhibitions, Razov said. "An important task is to shift the focus from simple trade to industrial cooperation and mutual investments and the organization of the processing of seafood, forest products and hydrocarbons," he said.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Greenpeace Warns Bankers Against Funding Russia's Pacific Pipeline Project

Greenpeace’s logo28.02.2006 MosNews - Environmental pressure group Greenpeace urged foreign banks on Tuesday, Feb. 28, against funding Russia's project to build an oil pipeline from Eastern Siberia to Pacific Ocean coast. Greenpeace warned the bankers they might face liabilities for ecological damage. Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft plans to build an $11.5 billion, 1.6 million barrel-per-day pipeline to China and Japan. The pipeline, due to run from East Siberia to the Pacific coast, should be built by 2008. The project has the full backing of President Vladimir Putin as it would allow Russia to diversify its massive energy exports away from Europe's slow-growing markets. While the results of the final ecological study on the project have yet to be published, Transneft is already seeking foreign loans to fund the project. Greenpeace said the pipeline's proximity could place Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake, at risk. "We understand that financial participation in an $11-billion-plus project may be regarded as a significant business opportunity," Greenpeace Russia said in an open letter to several international banks. The letter was quoted by the Reuters agency. "However, we are confident you and your colleagues will wish to take full account of all legal breaches associated with this project, to weigh the risks of potential court-ordered reviews or revisions and of future liability for damages in the event the project proceeds," it went on to say. Baikal is the world's deepest lake and home to hundreds of endemic species, including a rare fresh-water seal. Russia's business daily Vedomosti quoted a source close to Transneft as saying the company needed around $2 billion in loans to fund construction works this year alone. Transneft President Semyon Vainshtok threatened last month to sue ecologists and state watchdogs if they rejected a plan to build the pipeline. Adding to Transneft's woes, Russia's state transportation monopoly the Russian Railways has urged the government on Monday, Feb. 27, asking it to consider whether its massive crude oil shipments to China would survive when the country builds its first pipeline to Asia. The railways have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to expand links and boost supplies to China to 300,000 barrels per day by the end of this decade from just 100,000 barrels per day several years ago. But the projects rely on West Siberian crude production as reserves of the East Siberian fields are yet to be confirmed, while experts say the country might lack enough crude to fill both projects or even fully fill the pipeline alone.

China Finishes Two Pipeline Consctruction

01.03.2006 13:06 [Neftegaz.ru] - China's pipeline projects transmitting crude oil and oil products across the western regions will be in operation this year, said sources with a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) on Wednesday. The two projects, one for crude oil and the other for oil products, will pump oil from Urumqi, capital of northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to Lanzhou, capital of northwestern Gansu Province. According to the company in charge of the pipeline construction, the pipeline for oil products will be available this May while the one for crude oil will be ready at the end of October. The pipeline had been linked up completely and refined oil isbeing pumped into the tank at Urumqi in line with the schedule.

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