Russia plans more-direct oil, gas routes to Europe, Asia

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is planning new oil and gas transit routes to Europe and Asia to reduce Russia's dependence on transit countries and improve its supply reliability.

Feb 1st, 2007

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 1 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is planning new oil and gas transit routes to Europe and Asia to reduce Russia's dependence on transit countries and improve its supply reliability.

At his annual news conference, Putin said Russia will seek direct delivery routes, and he insisted his country was a reliable supplier. He also said Russia would seek long-term agreements with European companies along the lines of those reached with Germany's BASF AG and Italy's Eni SPA.

"We're actively developing cooperation on combining assets, of which there are already examples, such as BASF and Gazprom, Gazprom and Eni," Putin said. "These are built on a long-term basis. They are taking on a more and more reliable character."

Putin's remarks follow a dispute with neighboring Belarus in early January, which adversely affected oil deliveries to Poland and Western Europe via the 1-million b/d Przyjazn (Friendship) pipeline (OGJ Online, Jan. 8, 2007).

While reaching out to Europe, Putin also expressed his country's desire to market oil in Asia. "We will speed up construction of the [East Siberia Pacific Ocean (ESPO)] pipeline system to the Pacific coast to directly reach the developing markets of Asia. We are building to the Far East. We intend to build to China and will do so," Putin said.

Putin named several projects aimed at improving his country's transport of oil and natural gas:

-- Expansion of the Primorsk oil terminal on the Gulf of Finland by 50 million tonnes/year to increase direct exports via the Baltic Sea.

-- A stepped-up pace of work on the ESPO pipeline connecting Siberia to China and Russia's Pacific coast.

-- Expansion of a gas pipeline via the Black Sea.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

More in Pipelines