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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rosneft Will Seek to Fill Pipe to Asia

NERUNGRI, Sakha -- Rosneft will almost completely fill Russia's first oil pipeline to Asia, leaving little space for private firms when the route opens later this decade, Semyon Vainshtok, head of pipeline monopoly Transneft, said Thursday.

The state-controlled firm, already a major rail shipper to China, will supply five-sixths of the crude for the 600,000 barrels per day link, Vainshtok said.

"We have real applications for 35 million tons of annual crude shipments, and the pipeline's capacity is only 30 million tons," Vainshtok said.

Transneft has already built over one-third of the $11 billion, 2,700-kilometers route, due to be completed by early 2009.

He said Rosneft had offered to supply 25 million tons from its eastern Siberian Vankor field and other deposits immediately from the pipeline's launch.

The firm has previously said it was ready to supply only 10 million tons at the first stage, but has since won more production facilities and reserves at auctions of assets in Yukos. Vainshtok said Surgut would supply two million tons from its Talakan field, with volumes gradually rising to 7 million tons.

TNK-BP will also ship 2 million from the Verkhnechonsk field with volumes rising to 4 million.

Mid-sized oil firm Urals Energy has committed to supply from 0.7 to 0.8 million tons.

"I've been really hoping to take this 30 million tons out of western Siberian output to cut pressure on Europe. But today there is no such need," Vainshtok said. "Today we are seeing that we will have capacity shortage as soon as we finish construction. So there are no more fears about our ability to fill the pipe."