MOSCOW - Russia has built a third of its planned oil pipeline to China in the
first year of construction and is on track to finish its first pipeline to Asia
on time by the end of 2008, Russia's pipeline monopoly said on Saturday.
Transneft said it had built over 900 km (559 miles) of the 2,700-km pipeline,
which will eventually pump 30 million tonnes a year (600,000 barrels per day) of
crude to China.
Transneft has said the pipeline will allow Russia, the world's second largest
oil exporter, to make its exports more flexible and re-route volumes to Asian
market when prices are more attractive than on its current core European market.
If additional crude resources are found in East Siberia, a new pipeline
branch could be built to the Pacific coast to increase deliveries to 1.6 million
Russia currently produces over 9.8 million bpd, exports around 5 million bpd
to world markets and refines the rest at home.