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Huge pipeline project approved

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Huge pipeline project approved

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The Russian government has given the green light to a major energy project, the building of an oil pipeline to the Pacific. State oil pipeline monopoly Transneft will pump one point six million barrels a day when the line is completed, which will run over 4000 kilometres from Siberia to Japan, and is the preferred option of President Putin, replacing an earlier plan to run the pipeline only to China.

Energy-hungry China will remain a major customer as the Russian state railways says it will supply 300 000 barrels a day by 2007, doubling the capacity bythe next decade, but the Chinese may be disappointed the pipeline is not coming to them as was originally planned when YUKOS was leading the project. The project is due to be completed in around four to five years time, and could cost as much as 13 and a quarter billion euros, three times more than the first estimate when the projects was first proposed.