Russia-China-India pipeline being discussed

By Yin Ping (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-12-07 06:56

SHANGHAI: An oil pipeline running from Russia to India via China is under active consideration following an initiative put forward four years ago, an industry expert said Wednesday.

"The project is very likely to succeed," said Xia Yishan, a senior research fellow with the China Institute of International Studies, at the Third Sino-Russo-Kazakh Oil and Gas Forum in Shanghai.

Xia, who is an expert in the National Energy Leading Group and has been actively involved in big oil and gas projects in the country, said several options are under discussion about the contours of the pipeline.

One is for it to run from Russia to Altay in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Northwest China, climb the Tianshan Mountain, and extend south to Kunlun Mountain till it reaches India.

"India is the most active party in the project," Xia said. "China, as the country through which the pipeline will pass, will also benefit" by getting a financial return as a transit country and possibly securing cheaper oil.

However, Vladimir Saenko, head of the State Energy Policy Department of the Ministry of Industry and Energy of Russia, said it was still too early to discuss the contours of the pipeline. "The talks will be arduous and prolonged," he said. "It may be simpler to ship the oil by sea."

China's first cross-border pipeline started pumping oil from Kazakhstan in May, carrying around 200,000 barrels of crude a day.

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