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China, Russia in negotiation over West Route gas pipeline

Updated: Oct 9,2014 8:09 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING -- China and Russia are expected to make progress on negotiations on construction of the West Route gas pipeline this year, Vice-Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said on Oct 8.

“Chinese and Russian energy departments are busy with negotiations on the construction of the West Route gas pipeline. We believe there will be progress this year,” Cheng said at a news briefing ahead of Premier Li Keqiang’s European visit.

Premier Li will visit Germany, Russia, Italy and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) headquarters from Oct 9 to 15. He will also attend the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Milan from Oct 16 to 17.

The West Route gas pipeline will be another major project for China and Russia in addition to the China-Russia East Route natural gas pipeline, construction on which began in August in east Russia’s Siberia.

The Chayandin and Kovyktin gas fields in eastern Siberia will become major supply sources when the pipeline begins pumping natural gas to China in 2018. The Russian side will export 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China through the pipeline every year for 30 years starting in 2018.

Gas cooperation is an important component of bilateral energy cooperation, and both sides are cooperating in the upstream and downstream gas industries. Chinese enterprises will help develop gas fields in Russia’s eastern Siberia as agreed in bilateral contracts, Cheng said.

Under the bilateral agreement, the Russian side will export 70 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China every year upon completion of both the East- and West-Route gas pipelines.

The two sides have also jointly built and put into operation a China-Russia oil pipeline in the Far East. In 2013, China imported 24.35 million tons of crude oil, 27.28 million tons of coal and 3.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity from Russia.