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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khristenko Sets Out Targets for Exporting Gas to China

BEIJING -- Russia plans to export 68 billion cubic meters of gas per year to China by 2020 through two pipelines, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said in Beijing on Tuesday.

CNPC, China's biggest oil company, and Gazprom will complete talks to build the pipelines by 2008, Khristenko said in Beijing. The western pipeline will start pumping 30 bcm per year starting in 2011, and the eastern link will add 38 bcm per year by 2016, he said.

China, the world's second-biggest energy user after the United States, is boosting ties with Russia to supply the energy needs for an economy that expanded 11.1 percent in the first quarter. China, which uses coal to supply two-thirds of its power, plans to boost the use of gas to 5.3 percent of total energy demand in 2010, from about 3 percent now, to cut pollution.

"The gas pipelines will be a showcase of cooperation among the nations' state-owned companies," Khristenko said at a news conference. "The targets are absolutely workable."

Russia will also complete an oil pipeline project to export 15 million tons per year to China in the first phase, and double the volume in a second phase, Khristenko said.

Work on a spur to the Chinese border from Russia's new trans-Siberian oil pipeline will start within 208 days after China transfers its first payment toward construction costs, Khristenko said, Interfax reported. China, which is financing construction of the leg, paid its first installment in June, he said.

Russia will complete 1,000 kilometers of the trans-Siberian pipeline on Wednesday, the minister said Tuesday. The country may be able to pump oil from eastern Siberia to the Pacific coast by the end of next year, he said.

The first phase of the trans-Siberian pipeline itself will be completed by the end of 2008, Interfax said.

Russia will deepen its partnership with China in the electricity industry, Khristenko said, without elaborating.