Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Transneft Finishes Crude Trial Runs on ESPO Pipe Spur to China

Platts, December 21, 2010
Russian pipeline operator Transneft's new 300,000 b/d pipeline spur for ESPO crude shipments to China is ready to begin commercial shipments on January 1 following the completion of trial runs Sunday, it said in a statement said late Monday.

Transneft pumped the first trial shipment of crude on November 1, shipping a total of 250,000 mt (61,000 b/d) in November and 300,000 mt in December, the statement said.

The spur travels from Skovorodino, currently the end point of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline, to Daqing in China. [See the map below, provided by Reuters - My addition, D.R.]

The main ESPO route was launched in December 2009, and consists of a 600,000 b/d pipeline from oil fields near Taishet in East Siberia to Skovorodino in Russia's Far East, near the border with China.

From there, around 300,000 b/d is currently shipped by rail from Skovorodino to an export terminal at Kozmino on the Pacific coast.

Starting January 1 [2011], Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft is to start to supply China with 15 million mt/year (300,000 b/d) of ESPO crude. The exports are in line with a contract signed in 2009 to supply 300,000 b/d of oil over 20 years to China [i.e., cash-for-oil or loan-for-oil deal -- D.R.]. [Full story]

--Jake Rudnitsky,

Similar stories appear in Oilgram News. See more information at

For related news, please see Platts Russian Crude Oil Exports feature at
  –°lick on map to enlarge                                                             

     Source: UK. Reuters, RPT-UPDATE 3-Russia Prepares to Open Oil Pipeline to China, Sep 27, 2010 

(The second phase of the pipeline will involve the construction of a 2,046 km (1,271 miles) section from Skovorodino to the Pacific Ocean terminal at Kozmino, and will replace the rail line -- see map above. It would be commissioned by 2013 or 2014. The first phase of ESPO, running some 2,700 km from Taishet to Skovorodino, was completed in late 2009. See also Takeo Kumagai article in my blog , here. Update 1: In early November 2012, Transneft announced that ESPO-2 has been filled with technological oil and start-up works have started. The filling of the 2,046-km ESPO-2 with oil took about 4 months. The company plans to launch the oil line by the end of the year---please see here. Also, please see another map of the 4,700 km or 2,900 miles ESPO pipeline, the combined ESPO-1 and ESPO-2, here. Update 2: On December 25, 2012, Transneft JSC put into operation the second line of the East Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO-2) [ ... ]. According to N. Tokarev, the Head of Transneft, “the American market gets about 35 per cent of oil through Koz’mino port, the final destination point of ESPO; Japan gets about 30 per cent; China gets 25-28 per cent. And the rest part goes to Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea”. “I believe such proportions shall be preserved”, he noted. [...]. During the second stage of the project, an oil pipeline sector from Skovorodino to Koz’mino port was built and the capacity of the marine terminal was increased. ESPO-2’s putting into operation will allow increase of the volume of oil dispatched from Koz’mino twice, up to 30 million tons per year [ i.e., 600,000 b/d -- D.R.]. The volume of oil exported from Koz’mino port may reach 15.6-16 million tons [i.e., 312,000-320,000 b/d -- D.R.] in the year 2012, and 21 million tons [i.e., 420,000 b/d -- D.R.] in the year 2013. Considering the route to China (15 million tons of oil per year or 300,000 b/d), 36 million tons [720,000 b/d -- D.R.]  are to be pumped in 2013. Handling through Koz’mino may amount 24-25 million tons [i.e., 480,000-500,000 b/d -- D.R.] in 2014, and 30 million tons [i.e., 600,000 b/d -- D.R.] in 2015. N. Tokarev reported that oil delivery to Koz’mino by railway still remain in the near term and shall amount about 3-4 million tons [i.e., 60,000-80,000 b/d --D.R.] per year. [ ... ] Also, N. Tokarev informed that Khabarovsky oil processing plant [i.e., refinery] would get oil from the ESPO system in the year 2014, and Komsomol’sk [-on-Amur] oil processing plant – in the year 2015---please read Transneft website, Dec 25, 2012 (in English).  -- D.R.)

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