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Putin Pipeline to Send 25% of Russia’s Oil Exports East

Russia is on course to send an unprecedented 25 percent of its crude exports to eastern markets by 2015 as rising demand from China and other Asian consumers attracts sales at the expense of Europe.

The country sent 1.1 million barrels a day east in February, or 22 percent of exports, according to Bloomberg estimates based on loading programs and Energy Ministry data. In October, before the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline was expanded, it shipped 18 percent to Asia. OAO Transneft, the state pipeline monopoly, says the ESPO line will reach its full capacity in two years.