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.