National

Russia to start pipeline work in '05

Kyodo

Russia plans to start building part of the Japan-proposed pipeline next year to export Siberian oil to the Asian market, a senior official with the state oil transport company said Friday.

Sergei Grigoriev, vice president of Transneft, told Kyodo News that Russia wants to begin exporting oil in 2006 — even if the pipeline connecting eastern Siberia to the Russian Far East is not completed by then — using the trans-Siberian railroad to transport the oil.

The export of Siberian oil had not been expected to begin until after 2010 at the soonest. It is likely to initially total 10 million tons a year and is expected to eventually reach 80 million tons.

Russia, which has become one of the biggest oil-producing countries in recent years, is expected to increase its share substantially in the Asian oil market.

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