Russia, China to sign oil supply deal

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Moscow, Oct 23 (UNI) Russian state oil producer Rosneft and China's National Petroleum Corporation will sign a deal soon on crude deliveries to China.

Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told RIA Novosti news agency the two companies reached the agreement today at a meeting of the energy sub-commission of the Russia-China Inter-Governmental Commission.

Mr Shmatko said the contract would be signed for a term of 15 years and the fuel supplies did not concern the construction of a pipeline spur to China as part of the East Siberia - Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline.

The ESPO pipeline is slated to pump upto 1.6 million barrels of crude per day from Siberia to Russia's Far East and then onto energy-hungry China and the Asia-Pacific region.

A 1,100 km leg of the pipeline was opened in early October in Russia's Far Eastern republic of Yakutia.

The Minister also said the Chinese side had carried out significant work on the design of the ESPO pipeline spur and has started construction on its territory.

However, he pointed out the spur to China would not go into service next year.

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