The construction of an oil pipeline from East Siberia to Nakhodka and Datsin is not urgent at the moment as there is no oil for the pipeline. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Chairman of Renaissance Capital Investment Group Alexander Shokhin at the Saint Petersburg economic forum today. He said that in order to construct such an export corridor several new oil fields have to be opened in East Siberia as 'there is no point in sending oil all the way from West Siberia.'
Nonetheless, Mr Shokhin believes that Russia needs 'oil pipeline capacity in reserve.' For this reason, he said, 'if there are no new projects then foreign consumers may turn to Iraqi oil but, on the other hand, Iraqi oil is unreliable as the Middle East will be unstable for some time yet.'
When construction of the Eastern corridor begins it must be built as far as Nakhodka as otherwise 'it will be entirely in the hands of Chinese consumers.' Mr Shokhin also said that private companies could accept some responsibility for constructing the new pipeline.
The Angarsk-Nakhodka pipeline has been valued at USD 5.2 billion, it will be 4 thousand kilometres long with an annual oil capacity of 50 million tonnes. Completion of the project would mean that oil could be exported to China and other Asian or Pacific countries including the US. Construction had been expected to start in 2004 and be completed by 2008.