MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia expects to earn 57 billion rubles ($1.8 bln) annually from oil exports to China, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Friday.
The two countries reached an agreement to build a Chinese leg of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline in October 2008. The pipeline's first leg was launched westwards, in reverse mode, on October 4, 2008.
The Chinese section, to run from Skovorodino in the Russia's Far East to Mohe in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, is designed to diversify Russian crude supplies from oil fields in Siberia.
Sergei Shmatko said the construction cost of the leg, due to be completed by late 2010, has been estimated at 11-12 billion rubles ($352mn-$324mn).
Russia "is sure to complete this work. There will not be any major problems," the minister said.