MOSCOW, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Russian pipeline company Transneft announced that it started test oil deliveries through the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline through China.
A company spokesman said it opened the valves on the ESPO pipeline to deliver Russian oil to Chinese markets, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.
The first leg of ESPO is designed to carry 220.5 million barrels of oil per year along a route from starting in East Siberia and then about 1,700 miles east. A second leg is envisioned to carry 367.5 million barrels of oil per year along a 1,300-mile route to the Pacific Ocean.
Oil shipments from Eastern Siberia reach the region by rail currently.
Beijing said the leg of ESPO running through China would start carrying oil in 2011.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin inaugurated the ESPO oil pipeline during a ceremony at the Kozmino oil terminal in December, calling the "strategic project" a victory for Moscow.
China will receive around 4,500 barrels of oil during the testing phase. Full commercial deliveries are expected to reach around 100 million barrels per year starting in January.