East Siberian oil pipeline to cost $2-5 bln to construct

Vice Premier Viktor Khristenko has confirmed reports about the Russian government's determination to construct a pipeline from the town of Angarsk, in Siberia, eastwards - for the transportation of oil into countries of Asia and the Pacific Rim. The pipeline will run as far as the Pacific port of Nakhodka, branching out to the Chinese city of Daqing, Mr. Khristenko told a Moscow press conference on Thursday.

According to the Russian Premier, the project's feasibility is currently being studied. Experts will have to specify the itinerary of the pipeline, factoring in a whole number of circumstances, primarily the state of East Siberia's resource base and the growth rate of proven oil reserves.

As Mr. Khristenko pointed out, the project will be designated as economically feasible if experts establish that it will be able to cover all investor risks related to both oil recovery and transportation. According to him, the construction costs will come to an estimated 2 to 5 billion dollars, depending on the project's itinerary, the number of stages in which it will be implemented, and a number of other factors.

The construction of the East Siberian oil pipeline is of paramount importance to Russia, including in terms of boosting the economic development of its easternmost areas, Mr. Khristenko said in conclusion.

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