LOS ANGELES, May 25 -- Russia's proposed East Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline will be constructed by December 2008 despite a ruling that will increase its length by 1,920 km due to environmental considerations, according to state media.
Transneft spokesman Mikhail Chemakin told the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta that the pipeline will be constructed 350-400 km from Lake Baikal, adding to a length originally estimated at 4,000 km.
The routing decision follows instructions from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said in April that the project should be implemented on schedule but moved away from the area for ecological reasons (OGJ May 8, 2006, p. 29).
The bypass will take the pipeline northeast along the left bank of the Lena River. It will then bypass the city of Lensk, Yakutia, to the north, curve round to the southeast, cross Lena, and join the previously planned route in the region of the city of Tynda.
The altered route will pass through three regions—Irkutsk and Amur Oblasts and Yakutia. News reports say the newly proposed route has already been approved by the Irkutsk Oblast administration leaders, the heads of affected municipalities, as well as scientists and other specialists.
The agreement over the pipeline route opens the way for exploratory work, the preparation of a technical and economic feasibility study for the project, and determination of the line's final cost.
Contact Eric Watkins at [email protected].