Russia and China on Tuesday signed a long-awaited deal to build an from Siberia to China after talks between Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
The leaders watched as Chinese state energy major CNPC and Russian state pipeline monopoly Transneft signed the deal to build the pipeline from the Siberian town of Skovorodino to the Chinese border.
The pipeline agreed on Tuesday would have a capacity of 15 million tons of oil per year and would be a branch of the main East Siberia-Pacific Ocean trunk pipeline, which is still under construction, officials said.
“We should deepen cooperation in the energy sphere. Long-term cooperation will help economic development and stability on world markets,” Wen said at the opening of a Russia-China business conference with Putin in Moscow.
Even after lengthy negotiations on energy ties between the two neighbours, Russia is still only the fifth-largest exporter of crude oil to energy-hungry China, despite being the world’s number two producer after Saudi Arabia.
Amid lower energy prices, analysts say China is now seizing its chance.
“We have to aim for real results. We’ve discussed this for many years but the results do not correspond to what they should be for two neighbouring powers,” Zhang Guobao, China’s top energy official, told the conference.
“We need to build oil and gas pipelines, increase downstream and upstream cooperation and increase cooperation in the nuclear sphere,” said Zhang, head of China’s State Energy Bureau, speaking through a Russian interpreter.
The length of the pipeline to the Chinese border would be around….