They don’t want to buy Russian oil from Chinese!
A secret fight for the route of the Russian oil pipeline going from the city of Angarsk still continues. Major representatives of South Korean financial and industrial circles have already stated they are interested in the pipeline running completely on Russia’s territory only. Recently, President Putin met with the author of the Angarsk-Datsin oil pipeline, president of the Yukos oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Soon, Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will make his contribution into discussion of the pipeline’s route. He is planning to visit Moscow at beginning of January; Japan’s Nihon Keizai reports that the planned construction of an oil pipeline to China will be one of the most important problems on the visit’s agenda.
At that, the newspaper is sure that the Japanese prime minister will offer Russia’s authorities considerable economic aid for construction of the oil pipeline not to China, but to the Russian port of Nakhodka. We should mention that the idea of pipeline’s construction is actively lobbied by the state-run company Transneft. However, as scientists from the Siberian department of Russia’s Academy of Sciences say, the resource base of Eastern Siberia won’t be enough to fill two oil pipelines. That is why the two currently existing projects of oil pipelines, Angarsk-Nakhodka and Angarsk-Datsin, are in intensive rivalry.
After discussion of the problem at a session of the RF Security Council presided by Vladimir Putin, a predecision was made that the oil pipeline will go to the Russian port of Nakhodka. This decision will mostly guarantee a steady fuel supply to Russia’s Far East, a more prospective development of Russian economic interests in the region by means of considerable diversification of consumers. Neither South Korea, nor Japan want Russia’s oil to go to China, that would thus get a fuel monopoly in the whole of South-Eastern Asia. South Korea has already offered financial aid and investments to Russia. Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is obviously going to Russia with the same purpose.
An unpatriotic position of the Yukos oil company, that wishes to lay the oil pipeline to China, can also be easily explained. Yukos is very much anxious about the company’s fate and about the possibility of its breakthrough on the world markets. Today Yukos negotiates long-term oil supplies to China for the period of at least 25 years. China’s need for hydrocarbon stuff is rapidly increasing. Yukos is very much interested not only in increasing its presence on the Chinese market, but also plans to participate in privatization of China’s oil industry which is scheduled for the next year. Such present as construction of an oil pipeline to Datsin will certainly be appreciated at its true value, which will give Yukos considerable preferences in privatization of China’s oil complex. Currently, the Russian oil company has to transport its oil to China by railway via Mongolia.
However, in order to get secured against failure with Russia, China has already concluded an agreement for construction of an oil and has pipeline from former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. Dmitry Slobodanuk PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://economics.pravda.ru/economics/2002/7/21/64/4989_.html
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