China and Russia to boost energy cooperation

Oct. 16, 2013 at 1:38 PM
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BEIJING, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- China and Russia plan to expand cooperation on energy projects, including oil and gas supply, nuclear energy and renewable energy, government officials said.

"China is willing to expand all-around energy cooperation with Russia. We hope the two sides can work together to ensure the increase of Russian oil supplies to China, expand cooperation in upstream oil projects and set a refinery joint venture in Tianjin as a pilot project," Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli was quoted as saying in the Xinhua report.

Zhang's comments followed a meeting of a China-Russia energy cooperation committee in Beijing, which he co-chaired with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.

Last month, China imported more oil than any other country in the world, including the United States, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

Chinese customs statistics show net imports of about 6.47 million barrels a day of crude and products in September, The Financial Times reports.

The Chinese vice premier also said China hopes to work with Russia on natural gas and nuclear energy projects, to boost coal and electricity imports from Russia and to expand cooperation in fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

"The Chinese leadership attaches great importance to developing the comprehensive relations of strategic cooperation and partnership with Russia," Zhang said, adding that energy cooperation is an important component of their partnership.

Dvorkovich, the Russian deputy prime minister, said Moscow is ready to work with Beijing to take advantage of each other's competitiveness and achieve new alliances in energy sectors, Xinhua reports.

A Wood Mackenzie report last month estimated Russia's energy trade with China could quadruple by 2025, to more than 100 million tons of oil equivalent.

The report, titled "Russia's pivot east: the growth in energy trade with China," notes because China is eager to secure the large volumes of energy Russia can provide, Beijing is providing financing to underpin much of the required infrastructure costs.

The report cited Beijing's $25 billion investment towards the construction of the second stage of the Eastern Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline in return for guaranteed crude supplies.

"We expect further investment from China in LNG, gas pipelines and gas processing, and in power generation and transmission capacity," Paul McConnell, senior global horizons analyst for Wood Mackenzie, said in a release. "Russia's proximity, the quality and scale of its eastern resource base, and the new willingness of its energy companies to trade, could make it China's most important single energy supplier for some decades to come."

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