November 20, 2005

Russia to build oil pipeline to Pacific, supply Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin
confirmed on Monday that Moscow plans to build a major oil
pipeline from Siberia to the Pacific coast and said oil
supplies would eventually flow to major consumer Japan.

"We plan to build the pipeline to the Pacific coast with
eventual supplies to the Asia-Pacifc region including Japan,"
Putin said in a speech at a Russia-Japan investors forum in

Russia is building a 4,130-km (2,566 miles), $11.5 billion
pipeline across Siberia that will pump 80 million tonnes of oil
a year (1.6 million barrels per day) to the Pacific.

State pipeline monopoly Transneft is building it in two
stages. It expects to finish the first stage at Skovorodino,
far from the coast but close to China, in 2008.

Japan has been keen to win a promise that Russia would
carry on construction to a port in the Pacific, while China
wants the pipeline to head south into its industrial north. No
date has been set for the second stage.