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China Offers Transneft $400M for Oil Pipeline

Published: March 24, 2006 (Issue # 1155)


BEIJING China National Petroleum Corp. will provide Transneft with $400 million to build a long-promised pipeline that was originally supposed to ship Yukos oil to China, Transneft president Semyon Vainshtok said Wednesday.

Vainshtok made the announcement in Beijing as President Vladimir Putin wrapped up a two-day visit with assurances that he had not forgotten an agreement he had struck with Chinese President Hu Jintao in May 2003 to construct the pipeline.

Vainshtok said CNPC would finance a feasibility study for the pipeline and cover construction costs on Russian soil. The pipeline is to branch out from the still-unbuilt Far East pipeline at Skovorodino, about 70 kilometers from China.

The terms for the $400 million were unclear. Vainshtok classified the money as a gift.

We have worked with them for two years, so CNPC should give us this gift, or liwu, as they say in China, Vainshtok said, Interfax reported.

He said that the first installment would arrive this year, and construction of the Far East pipeline would be finished by the end of 2008.

The pipeline, which was to cost $2.5 billion and have a maximum throughput capacity of 30 million tons of crude per year, was due to become operational in 2005. Instead, however, Yukos has been crushed by the state through a series of multibillion-dollar tax claims, and the pipeline plans were first suspended and then attached to an appendix to plans by Transneft, the state-owned pipeline monopoly, to build a pipeline connecting eastern Siberia with Russias Pacific coast.

Putin told a business forum in Beijing on Wednesday that the pipeline would become a reality.

If this project is successfully completed and that is beyond doubt it will provide for significant increases in the volume of oil supplies from Russia to China, Putin told the forum, which Hu also attended, The Associated Press reported.

Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov, playing up Chinas need for energy, said Wednesday that his company also planned to expand its role in the region, Interfax reported.

He said Rosneft had signed agreements with CNPC to create joint ventures that would work on oil production and the marketing of refined oil products.

It was unclear which fields in Russia the Rosneft-CNPC oil venture would operate. Bogdanchikov said the venture would bid for licenses on the market and would have access to several exploration licenses held by Rosneft.

China has long been eyeing stakes in Russian energy companies but has yet to succeed in gaining access to Russias energy stock and vast hydrocarbon resources. The other venture would give Rosneft access to Chinas growing retail market. Rosneft wants to sell gasoline in China, and the deal could position it to act fast should China move to liberalize its tightly regulated domestic fuel market.

The deals come on top of pledges this week to double Russian-Chinese trade by 2010 and to build two huge natural gas pipelines by 2011. With those promises, the Russian leadership appears to be signaling that China will become a major focus of Russias external economic relations even though the substance of the deals has yet to be determined.





 


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Wednesday, Apr. 16


Learn more about AmChams efforts during the Joint Manufacturing, and Investment and Legal Committees Meeting today at 9 a.m. Check their website for more information about the event.


Today marks the beginning of IPhEB and CPhI Russia 2014, an international forum for the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology that will be at LenExpo today and tomorrow. Those both already established in the industries and hoping to start a career are encouraged to attend and network with their colleagues.


Thursday, Apr. 17


Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.


Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldnt miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norways largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianitys holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the deserts most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDAs Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBAs Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.