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China readies for Russian gas pipeline

Construction of Chinese section to begin in early 2015.

By Daniel J. Graeber

BEIJING, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- China National Petroleum Co. said Thursday it received consent from the government to start work on the Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline from Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was on hand for the launch ceremony for construction of the Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline last month. CNPC said it received permission to start engineering work for its part of the pipeline and construction was slated for early 2015.

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Putin said the new 2,500-mile gas pipeline to China will tie the Russian energy sector to both poles of the economic world.

A contract between Russian natural gas company Gazprom and CNPC is for 30 years and calls for 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year.

Members of Putin's administration met Thursday in Moscow to discuss the terms of the bilateral gas deal.

"The parties are to support a successful implementation of this contract and provide comprehensive assistance to authorized companies in matters of designing, constructing and maintaining of the gas transport infrastructure needed to deliver Russian gas to China," the government said.

Moscow says the project should be completed in time for first gas deliveries in 2018.

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