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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Japan Urges Priority for Pacific Pipeline

ReutersKhristenko, left, shaking Nakagawa's hand as they met for talks on the planned Pacific oil pipeline on Thursday.
TOKYO -- Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said Japan would help fund a Russian pipeline to export oil from Siberia provided the route terminates on the Pacific Coast, enabling shipments to Japan, according to a Japanese official.

"If the pipeline is built to the Pacific, Japan will provide funding,'' Hirofumi Katase, director of the petroleum and natural gas resource division in the trade ministry, told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday, citing Nakagawa.

Russia will make a proposal on the pipeline's route on May 1, Katase said. Nakagawa met Russia's Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko in Tokyo on Thursday.

Russia, the world's second-largest oil supplier, has been negotiating with Japan and China, Asia's two biggest oil consumers, on the direction of a pipeline to export Siberian oil.

Japan has lobbied for construction of a 4,100-kilometer pipeline to Perevoznaya.

China wants a 2,400-kilometer pipeline to Daqing in northern China.

"It is, I think, difficult to build the Pacific route pipeline after building a line to China,'' Katase said, when asked whether Japan will provide funds if the Russian government decides to build a pipeline to Daqing prior to the Pacific line.

Russia in December said that Transneft, Russia's oil pipeline monopoly, would build a $15.5 billion oil pipeline from the town of Taishet in Eastern Siberia through Skovorodino near the Chinese border and to the port of Nakhodka.

The pipeline will be able to ship 80 million tons of oil a year (1.6 million barrels per day).