Reuters: Russia, the world’s top crude exporter, said it had begun scheduled oil shipments to China via an East Siberian link on Saturday as the Kremlin cements ties with its energy-hungry neighbor.So far, Russia’s 50,000-km oil pipeline network has been concentrated in West Siberia and run toward Europe.
With the commissioning of the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), Moscow is carving out a large chunk of the world’s second-largest energy consumers’ market.
“The shipments started at 0030 (4:30 p.m. EST on December 31). We plan to pump 1.3 million tonnes of oil in January,” Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, told Reuters.
An annual plan envisages the supply of 15 million tonnes (300,000 barrels per day). Many oil market participants expected it would effectively double Russian sales to China, which totaled 12.8 million tonnes (308,000 bpd) in the first 10 months of 2010. Read more at Reuters…..