US Assistant Secretary of Energy Michael Smith, together with Congressmen Nick Lampson and Ken Bentsen, will take part on Wednesday in the ceremony of welcoming the first in history consignment of Russian oil brought to the United States by sea.
The ceremony will be held in the port of Houston (Texas), on the roadstead of which will arrive on Wednesday the supertanker Astro Lupus with two million barrels of Russian crude oil on board.
As the RIA Novosti correspondent was told in the sea port of Houston, the supertanker Astro Lupus will cast anchor in a special zone at a distance of forty kilometres from the shore. Then the oil will be delivered to the shore by small tankers.
This consignment of oil has for first time been brought directly from Russia to the United States, pointed out the press service. This oil was loaded on the tanker in Novorossiisk from which it was brought to Houston, the second largest commercial port in the United States, through the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, he Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The delivery of oil was carried out by the Russian company Yukos.
After the terrorist acts of September 11, the United States has been considering the question of lessening the dependence of the American economy on the import of oil from the "unstable" countries of the Middle East. In this case Russia, which possesses considerable resources of oil and gas, is becoming a potential supplier of hydrocarbon raw materials for the United States, pointed out the press service.
It will be recalled that the possibility of deliveries of Russian oil to the American market was for the first time considered during the February visit by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to the United States. In the course of this visit he discussed this possibility in the White House and in other departments of the United States.