In the fall, the Russian government will continue to consider the construction of oil pipelines in the east, Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said Wednesday at a press conference after the session of the Russian-Chinese sub-commission on trade and economic cooperation.
The minister said that a feasibility study and an environmental evaluation were being done in regard to these projects.
"By my data, this fall it [the evaluation] will result in an agreement on a route," Mr. Gref said. "If the environmental service gives its final consent to this route, after that, the feasibility study will be considered and a decision made."
Three possible eastern routes for the pipeline are currently being considered - Angarsk (Irkutsk region, south of Eastern Siberia) to Nakhodka (100 km east of Vladivostok on the western coast of the Sea of Japan), Angarsk to Daqing (the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang) and Angarsk to Nakhodka with a branch to Daqing. The Ministry of Natural Resources said that the most ecologically friendly route would be chosen.
In late April, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said the Russian government would make a final decision about the route of a pipeline from Angarsk to Asia Pacific Region countries by the end of the year.
"By the end of the year," he said, "we will decide on the route and the feasibility study."
Earlier, the Russian government made the basic decision on the construction of the oil pipeline from Angarsk to Nakhodka with a branch to Daqing (China).