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Russia, China sign deal on gas

Staff writer |
Moscow and Beijing have signed an intergovernmental agreement to cooperate in the delivery of Russian gas to China via the eastern route.

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The agreement was signed by energy ministers of Russia and China in the wake of a meeting between the heads of the Russian and Chinese governments.

Both parties also signed a technical annex to the sales contract on natural gas deliveries via the eastern route, which was inked by Gazprom and China's CNPC in May.

The contract provides for the annual export of 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas via the eastern route to China for a 30-year period starting 2018. The eastern route entails the delivery of Russian gas to China along the Power of Siberia trunk gas pipeline.

The construction of the 3,000-kilometer (1,860-mile) Power of Siberia pipeline was launched in Yakutia on September 1. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the new gas pipeline will significantly strengthen Russia's economic cooperation with the governments of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China.

A deal on the Russian natural gas deliveries to China via western route is also under preparation, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said. The western route will connect fields in western Siberia with northwest China through the Altai Republic and deliver 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Second and third sections may be added to the pipeline at a later date, thus bringing its capacity up to 100 billion cubic meters a year. The negotiations on the western route started on Sunday, and will continue in October, with results expected by November, according to Yanovsky.

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