Russia To Build Large Gas Pipelines To China
Beijing, China (XNA) Jan 05, 2007
Russia will build two large gas pipelines to China within five years, it was announced yesterday. The two countries will also continue a feasibility study on extending a Siberia-Pacific coast oil pipeline to China. The high-profile energy deals were announced after nearly two hours of talks between President Hu Jintao and his visiting Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
The two leaders issued a joint declaration and witnessed the signing of 15 agreements on energy supplies, trade and investment.
According to the joint statement, energy is one of the main components of the strategic partnership between the two countries; and both sides plan "to implement a strategy of diversification in the energy sphere."
The statement stressed that the "energy departments and companies of the two countries are working actively to promote pipeline projects to supply crude oil and natural gas from Russia to China."
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country's biggest energy firm, and Russian gas giant Gazprom signed a contract for the building of two gas pipelines reportedly costing up to US$10 billion.
Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller was quoted as saying that one of the pipelines would deliver gas from west Siberia and the other from Russia's Far East; and each of the pipelines would be capable of delivering 30 to 40 billion cubic metres of gas each year. China is reported to have consumed about 39 billion cubic metres of gas in 2004.
CNPC and Russian oil pipeline firm Transneft also signed a deal confirming a joint feasibility study on a spur to China of the US$11.5 billion East Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline, to be completed in 2008.
CNPC also signed a deal with Rosneft Oil Company on the establishment of joint ventures to refine crude and sell oil products.
Other documents signed include those on Russian electricity sales to China, anti-money laundering, railway transportation and international satellite broadcasts of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Sources with the Foreign Ministry told reporters that seven more agreements ranging from exhibitions to the press and education will be signed today between relevant ministries.
During their talks, Hu said he firmly believed that Putin's visit would boost the strategic partnership and that China is willing to push forward bilateral co-operation in trade, high-tech industry, energy, and cross-border water protection.
Hu pointed out that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Russia strategic partnership of co-ordination and the fifth anniversary of the Sino-Russian good neighbourly treaty of friendship and co-operation.
Echoing Hu, Putin said the start of the Year of Russia in China, which is unprecedented in scale and involves activities in various fields, shows that current Russia-China relations have reached "a very high level, and laid a better foundation for the future development" of their ties.
Putin said Russia is looking forward to enhanced co-operation in transportation, banking, and space exploration; and increased exports of mechanical and electrical products.
He said the current trade momentum would make it easier to meet the goal of US$60-80 billion in bilateral trade volume by 2010.
Hu and Putin are scheduled to join opening ceremonies today of a new Sino-Russian business forum bringing together top industrial leaders from both countries to spur business-to-business relations.
Putin will also hold talks with Premier Wen Jiabao and top legislator Wu Bangguo before heading to Central China's Henan Province to visit the Shaolin Temple, considered a shrine to Chinese kung fu, before flying back tonight.
Putin arrived in Beijing yesterday morning on his second visit to China since he was re-elected president in 2004.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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