Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Russia's Gazprom is set to complete a gas pipeline to start delivering gas from Siberia to China for three decades by the start of December, about 20 days earlier than expected.
"Construction of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline is going ahead of schedule, and Gazprom will start delivering gas to China well in advance, as early as December 1, 2019," Alexey Miller, chairman of Gazprom management committee, said during a visit to Beijing on Friday that included a meeting with Wang Yilin, chairman of the Board of Directors of CNPC.
The parties reviewed a wide range of issues related to cooperation between the companies, focusing on the ongoing preparations for the start of gas sent to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline.
They also discussed collaboration on gas-fired power generation.
The Power of Siberia gas trunkline will transport gas from the Irkutsk and Yakutia gas production centers to consumers in Russia's Far East and China.
The company had previously said supplies will start on Dec. 20, 2019.
Gazprom and CNPC signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement for Russian gas to be supplied via the eastern route, or Power of Siberia gas pipeline. The 30-year agreement provides for about 38 billion cubic meters per year to be delivered to China.
"In 2018, China became the world's largest natural gas importer. Its imports totaled 125.7 billion cubic meters, a 31 per cent increase (30.3 billion cubic meters) against 2017. This growth was achieved primarily through liquefied natural gas (LNG), since China is currently unable to satisfy the rising gas demand using the existing gas pipelines," Gazprom added.
Gazprom holds the world's largest natural gas reserves. The company's share in the global and Russian gas reserves amounts to 17 and 72 percent, respectively. Gazprom accounts for 12 and 68 per cent of the global and national gas output.
Besides the Russian Far East, the company is actively implementing other large-scale gas development projects in the Yamal Peninsula, the Arctic shelf and Eastern Siberia. Gazprom is among Russia's top four oil producers.
CNPC, which has oil and gas assets in over 30 countries, is China's largest oil and gas producer and supplier. The company has operations in Africa, Central Asia-Russia, America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and other regions.
In May 2014, Gazprom and CNPC signed the accord for gas to be supplied via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline. The 30-year agreement provides for Russian gas deliveries to China in the amount of 38 billion cubic meters per year.