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Russia's Transneft plans to start on Chinese pipeline leg in 2010

Russia
(updated 18:25 28.10.2014)
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Transneft plans to start building a Chinese leg of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean later in 2009 and to commission it in 2010, Russia's monopoly pipeline operator said in a statement on Tuesday.
MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti) - Transneft plans to start building a Chinese leg of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean later in 2009 and to commission it in 2010, Russia's monopoly pipeline operator said in a statement on Tuesday.

Under an agreement signed between Russia and China in Beijing earlier in the day, a branch of the ESPO oil pipeline will be built toward China and Russia will supply China with 15 million metric tons (110 million barrels) of crude annually for 20 years.

"The construction of the leg should be synchronized with the construction of the first line of the ESPO pipeline," the statement quoted the company's vice president, Mikhail Barkov, as saying.

The pipeline's first leg was launched in October 2008 in the reverse direction, running westwards. The construction of the pipeline, designed to bring Russian oil to the lucrative Asia-Pacific market, is due to be completed later this year, which will enable ESPO to pump its first oil eastwards.

Barkov also said that China's $10 billion loan to Transeft would primarily be invested in the construction of the Chinese leg.

"In addition, there are projects that will contribute to the functioning of the entire eastern pipeline and this leg in particular," the Transneft official said.

A source close to negotiations said on Tuesday China would extend a $15 billion loan to Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft against the guarantee of oil supplies, while Transneft's $10 billion would be granted with the infrastructure as collateral.