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Russia Starts Tests on Expanded ESPO Crude Pipeline to Pacific

OAO Transneft, Russia’s pipeline operator, started testing the second phase of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline to the Pacific port of Kozmino.

A second pier at Kozmino, capable of handling 100,000 metric-ton tankers, will load its first cargo this week, Igor Dyomin, a spokesman in Moscow, said today by phone.

The second phase, or ESPO-2, extends a pipeline that already runs from fields in East Siberia to Skovorodino near the Chinese border. It also boosts annual capacity of the entire link to 30 million tons. ESPO crude exports are scheduled to reach a record 1.6 million tons this month and 1.8 million tons in December, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg show.

The newly completed part of the pipeline was filled with oil for trials on Nov. 4 and may be certified by the government for use by mid-December, Dyomin said.

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