Russia halts oil supply to China after quake

Updated: 2011-10-15 11:10


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MOSCOW -- Russia's Transneft company said Friday that it has suspended oil supply to China due to possible pipeline damage caused by an earthquake in the Far East.

According to Transneft spokesman Igor Demin, the Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline has been closed for further inspection and possible maintenance, and the shipment will resume within hours.

"All work has halted, in particular shipments at the railroad terminal. The Emergency Situations Ministry warns of the possibility of further aftershocks," he was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

He added that there were no visible damages to the pipeline's China-bound section after the quake.

The quake, which measures 5.9 on the Richter scale, hit the Amur region in the Far East at 0610 GMT. No report of casualties or significant property damage has been heard so far.

This was the first time that the 1,000-km ESPO pipeline has been stopped since its launch on January 1, 2011.

Russia and China signed an inter-government agreement on supply of 15 million tons of oil yearly.