27 Nov 2019 13:22

Transneft brings ESPO pipeline to full capacity

MOSCOW. Nov 27 (Interfax) - Transneft has completed work on expanding the throughput capacity of the Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline system and brought it to full capacity.

"ESPO-1 (Taishet-Skovorodino) will be able to pump 80 million tonnes of oil per year, ESPO-2 (Skovorodino-Kozmino) - 50 million tonnes," Energy Minister Alexander Novak said during the videolink launch ceremony.

The ceremony, in which Transneft head Nikolai Tokarev also took part, took place during a meeting of the company's board of directors in Moscow as a telebridge with Bratsk, Khabarovsk, and the Kozmino Port, where the ESPO pipeline ends.

"In principle, all the directions have now been more or less determined. Yes, some insignificant increase of volumes from central regions and West Siberia will be redistributed to the east, because that's a premium market, and many oil companies would of course like to export in this market, deliver their oil there. But that won't change the overall balance, this will be an insignificant change," Tokarev told journalists.

"This is the only export area that doesn't have surplus capacity, it has full demand," he said.

"As for the creation of schedules for the eastern area, our priority, naturally, is loading mainline infrastructure using fields in East Siberia, since production is growing there thanks to measures taken by the Russian government to stimulate production - today 55 million tonnes is being produced in East Siberia. That is, fields in West Siberia and the filling of the [ESPO] pipeline system with them are following the leftover principle, and as production in East Siberia increases, western oil will remain and be sent in the western direction," Novak said.