Putin to Open ESPO Pipe

December 28, 2009

The East Siberian-Pacific Ocean Pipeline, the country’s multibillion-dollar attempt to tap growing energy demand in Japan, China and Korea, will load its first oil this week and be opened by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday.

“This is a colossal piece of work,” Transneft head Nikolai Tokarev said in an interview on Vesti-24 television.

The pipeline, known as ESPO, will give producers including Rosneft the option to sell oil east or west, while also providing infrastructure to drive development in eastern Siberia.

The government has set the rate for shipping crude through the pipeline at 1,598 rubles ($54) per metric ton, said Denis Volkov, an official at the Federal Tariffs Service.

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