Last Chance For Petro-China In Russia

Importing natural gas from Russia to feed PetroChina's planned west-east pipeline will be a "last choice", Shi Xingquan, vice president of the company told the China Daily.

Reserves discovered so far in the Tarim Basin, the main source of natural gas for the pipeline, will not be enough to supply the project for the 45-year duration of PetroChina's contract.

Shi said, however, that the Tarim Basin's reserves are in line with international standards to get the project started and that reserves in other areas will make up the shortfall.

"Even if Tarim runs short, domestic reserves like Changqing and Qaidam Basin could be supplements. Russia is the last choice."

PetroChina said earlier this month that it is in talks with unnamed Russian parties regarding importing gas to meet demand in the north-eastern part of China.

However, the newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying Russia is reluctant to sell gas to the pipeline given political concerns.

"Shell and ExxonMobil have tried to convince Russia's Gazprom to sell gas to the project in its latter stages of development. The Russian company would not, which prolongs the negotiations," one source said.

OAO Gazprom is one of the three large foreign shareholders in the planned west-east pipeline along with Royal Dutch/Shell Group and ExxonMobil Corp. ©

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