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Chinese section of Sino-Russia oil pipeline to complete by Oct

2010-09-02 18:13

HARBIN, HEILONGJIANG - The Chinese section of Russia-China oil pipeline is scheduled for completion by the end of October, construction officials said Thursday.

Construction was going smoothly for the final testing phase, said Lu Jicheng, project manager of the section from Mohe to Daqing of the Daqing Oilfield Construction Group, northeast China's Heilongjiang province.

Lu said 500,000 tons of crude would be pumped through the pipeline in November and a million tons in December according to the agreement signed between China and Russia.

The Russian section of the pipeline was completed and officially opened by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Aug 29.

Analysts said Sino-Russian oil cooperation was mutually beneficial to both countries, despite 14 years of negotiations.

Talks on the pipeline were initiated shortly after Boris Yeltsin, then President of Russia, visited China and signed agreements on energy cooperation between the two nations in 1996. But construction did not start until 2009 due to political and economic changes in the two nations, as well as fluctuations in global crude prices.

Cooperation with China would reduce Russia's dependence on European crude market, and lower the cost of Russian crude as no transit fees were demanded by a third country, said Song Kui, a researcher on Sino-Russian relations at Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.

It also would help boost the economy and promote prosperity in the Far Eastern region, so as to narrow the gap with Europe, he said.

For China, pipelines could reduce the cost of oil transport compared with rail transport, while reducing its dependence on oil coming from the Middle East region through the Malacca Strait, making China more energy secure, said Jiang Xinmin, an expert at Energy Research Institute under National Development and Reform Commission.

Russia and China are still discussing petroleum processing and exports of other fuels such as coal and gas to China.

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