Thursday, 12 December, 2019

Landmark gas pipeline to boost China-Russia energy cooperation

Russia switches on gas mega-pipeline to China as Putin touts closer ties ‘Power of Siberia” : Russia begins pumping gas to China via 8000 km pipeline
Deanna Wagner | 04 December, 2019, 23:04

M - A 3,000km-long pipeline transporting natural gas from Russian Federation to China has been launched, in an economic and political boost to ties between the two countries, Euronews reports. The new conduit will transport gas from fields in East Siberia to the domestic market and for export to China.

Known as the "Sino-Russia East Route" up to the Chinese border town of Heihe, where it crosses into Russia and becomes the "Power of Siberia", the line is part of a $400 billion gas supply deal (link in Chinese) signed between China National Petroleum Corp.

Russian President Vladimir Putin characterised it as a "genuinely historical event [.] for us, for Russia and China".

According to Peskov, the implementation of the project "is important for Russian Federation, important for China".

"This step takes Russo-Chinese strategic cooperation in energy to a qualitative new level and brings us closer to (fulfilling) the task, set together with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, of taking bilateral trade to US$200 billion by 2024".

The 3,000-km-long (1,865 mile) Power of Siberia pipeline will transport gas from the Chayandinskoye and Kovytka fields in eastern Siberia, for at least the next three decades and generate $400 billion in export revenue for Russian Federation.

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Besides China, Russia is also looking at other major consumers in Asia, including India to secure potentially enormous new markets outside Europe.

The pipeline will diversify Russia's gas market while providing China with an alternative steady gas supplier, said Alexei Belogorey, deputy executive director on energy studies at Russia's Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation.

Xi said the pipeline was a milestone in energy cooperation that underscored the deep integration between the two countries. From there, the pipeline branches south to Blagoveshchensk on the Russia-China border and branches further east towards the port city of Vladivostok. China passed Japan as the world's largest importer of natural gas a year ago, when it imported 125.35 billion cubic meters of the 276.6 billion it used, according (link in Chinese) to CNPC.

Friendly Russian-Chinese ties have been gradually developing based on the principles of transparency and mutual respect, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said. "Now the main direction of our gas and oil is Europe".

Construction began in June 2015, and the pipeline is expected to be completed in 2020. "The eastern route, the Power of Siberia is a global, strategically significant and mutually beneficial project", said Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in November that gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 2 may be launched by as soon as the end of the year. The imports could increase up to 38 billion cubic meters per year by 2024, the NPR said.