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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

RZD Seeks Rethink on Oil Supplies to East

Russian Railways, or RZD, on Monday urged the government to consider whether its large crude oil shipments to China would survive when the country builds its first pipeline to Asia.

"There is only one issue which we and our Chinese partners are concerned about," the company quoted its head, Vladimir Yakunin, as saying.

"How the government is planning to ensure coordination between the pipeline and the railway transportation systems," said Yakunin, who is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.

The statement was a rare official reaction to what analysts have long described as competing and even mutually exclusive projects, which both aim at boosting Russian supplies to one of the world's fastest-growing energy consumers.

Russia's railways have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to expand links and boost supplies to China, due to reach 300,000 barrels per day by the end of this decade from just 100,000 bpd several years ago.

But pipeline monopoly Transneft has a rival plan to build by 2008 a $10 billion, 1.6 million-bpd pipeline to the Pacific coast with a 600,000 bpd branch to China. The project has Putin's full backing.