Russia quake halts oil to China, Far East

Updated: 2011-10-14 19:18


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MOSCOW - Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said it halted oil shipments to China and the Far Eastern port of Kozmino following an earthquake, adding that the ESPO pipeline was not damaged and deliveries could restart on Friday.

The US Geological Survey said the 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck at 0610 GMT on Friday in Russia's Amur region, about 5,150 km (3,200 miles) east of Moscow and 210 km (130 miles) north of Heilongjiang, China.

Russian authorities said there were no casualties or significant property damage.

"The company halted supplies as a preventive measure. Transneft expects aftershocks, but theoretically shipments can be restarted today," company spokesman Igor Dyomin told Reuters, adding that the power supply to some pumping stations was interrupted and reserve capacity was plugged in.

He said that the company has also stopped loading railcars destined for Kozmino where oil exports continues.

"We have enough oil reserves at Kozmino to carry out continuous loadings," Dyomin said.  

He added that Transneft, which operates the 50,000 km-long pipeline network, has continued receiving oil from producers.

The East Siberia - Pacific Ocean pipeline, launched on January 1, carries 300,000 barrels of oil per day to China, while another 300,000 bpd go via the rail line to Kozmino.