China to Russia crude pipeline starts operating

To ease the chronic shortage of crude oil in China, trial operations began on 1 November at the recently completed 1,030km-long Sino-Russian crude pipeline, Chinese state-run media Xinhua News Agency said on Tuesday.
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Crude was injected into the pipeline from the Russian section on Monday afternoon and is scheduled to arrive in China today.

China plans to import 250,000 tonnes of crude oil in November and a further 300,000 tonnes in December, Xinhua quoted an official from China Customs as saying. Beginning from next year, Russia will supply 15m tonnes/year of crude oil to China for the next 20 years under a deal inked between the two countries in early 2009.

Meanwhile, Xinhua said the maximum transport capacity of the pipeline could be raised to 30m tonnes/year, if necessary. Construction of the crude pipeline began in April 2009 and was completed on 27 September this year, according to the media report.

Meanwhile ICIS news reports that oil consumption in China is expected to continue growing at a strong pace, backed by a superior economic growth, firming up the country’s ranking as the world’s top energy consumer, as defined by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“China’s economic growth level is continuing at this very high growth. It means much more rapid growth in energy consumption compared to OECD countries in general,” said IEA’s executive director Nobuo Tanaka in an interview on Tuesday.

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