Russia's Oil to Flow Towards China or Pacific?

Konstantin Kosachev, deputy chairman of the international affairs committee of the State Duma (Russia's lower parliamentary chamber), attaches "strategic importance" to the cabinet's consideration in the middle of March of versions of transportation of Russian oil from Central Siberia eastwards, to mainland China or the Pacific shore. "Actually, the future development of East Siberia and Russia's Far East is in question," Kosachev has stressed.

He recalled that there are now two competing versions of laying an oil pipeline from Angarsk - up to Datsin in China or the Nakhodka port on the western shore of the Sea of Japan. The government can make a choice with account for the three main criteria, believes Kosachev.

First, the "Chinese project" relies on an already prepared feasibility study, while the Japanese version is, so far, only theoretical. Second, the latter may be costlier. Third, Russia's capability to supply as much oil as the pipeline's throughput capacity is.

The oil pipeline branch to Nakhodka will recoup the expenses at only a 50-million tonnage, while to Datsin 20 million is enough, specialists say.

In this context, "the ideal option for Russia, and its potential foreign partners in the project, would be the construction of a complex oil pipeline for these two routes at a time," Kosachev is sure. "China has of late begun to talk of this opportunity," noted Kosachev. "Thus, everything will be decided by, first, the reserves of the Russian oil fields and, second, the readiness of our partners to invest in the project and the relative infrastructure in the Russian Far East," noted Konstantin Kosachev.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team