Transneft: ESPO pipeline Stage 1 faces delays

Implementation of the first stage of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline could be delayed by several months, according to new Transneft chief Nikolai Tokarev.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1 -- Implementation of the first stage of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline could be delayed by several months, according to new Transneft chief Nikolai Tokarev.

"There are delays of roughly 3-4 months at separate sites," Tokarev said. "Despite the strict certification of contractors brought in to carry out the project, some of them have displayed an inability . . . to fulfill their obligations to Transneft," he said.

But Tokarev said the state pipeline monopoly is not experiencing any problems in financing the first stage of the pipeline's construction, which will cost roughly 300 billion rubles.

"On the whole," he said, "there aren't any problems with financing. We have managed to resolve issues related to the opening of credit facilities with Sberbank. The facilities are open. Financing is being carried out in accordance with our goals and schedules."

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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