China has finished the construction of a tunnel under the Amur River to accommodate an extension of a pipeline intended to pump millions of tons of Russian oil to the energy-hungry country every year, the Xinhua news agency said Thursday.
More than 80 Chinese workers have been involved in the drilling of a 1,900-meter tunnel on the Russian-Chinese border since September last year, Xinhua said.
Russia and China signed cooperation deals on the construction of a branch of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO) toward China and long-term Russian oil supplies to China in February 2009.
The branch, which runs from Skovorodino in Russia's Far East to China's northeastern city of Daqing, is expected to become operational in 2011.
Russian officials earlier said the construction cost of the branch had been estimated at 11-12 billion rubles ($377 mln - $410 mln), while the annual revenues from oil sales to China could reach 57 billion rubles ($1.9 bln).
Russia is scheduled to export annually 15 million tons of crude oil to China over the next 20 years.
BEIJING, March 18 (RIA Novosti)