Transneft Says Foreigners Tried to Derail Putin's Asian Oil Link Network
Foreign states tried to derail Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s project to build a network of oil links to supply Asian markets with Siberian crude, national pipeline operator OAO Transneft said.
Representatives of foreign governments met with and funded Russian environmental and public interest groups in the Far East region that sued to stop or delay construction of the pipelines, Transneft Chief Executive Officer Nikolai Tokarev said in comments broadcast on state television today.
“Russia now has a powerful corridor to Asia-Pacific markets and, naturally, many states don’t like Russia having this capacity,” Tokarev said, without mentioning any countries by name.
Transneft finished building the first phase of its East Siberian Pacific Ocean pipeline in 2009, a year behind schedule. The Moscow-based company made its first direct deliveries to China on Jan. 1 via a spur of that link.
When completed as early as next year, the ESPO network will cost 770 billion rubles ($26 billion) and span 4,700 kilometers (2,900 miles), longer than the distance from London to Tehran. It will carry oil from Taishet, beyond the west Siberian basin where most of Russia’s oil is produced, to the Pacific port of Kozmino near North Korea and China.
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