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Baltic pipeline system will reach 60 million tons accroding Transneft
By late 2005 the capacity of the Baltic pipeline system will reach 60 million tons, Transneft company president Semyon Vainshtok told journalists in London Tuesday. He recalled that in December 2004 the Russian government ordered increasing the system's capacity to 60 million tons. "This goal can and must be met this year already," he said. Its current capacity is about 55 million tons. In 2004 the system pumped 50 million tons, he explained. About $500 million will be allocated for its development, Mr. Vainshtok said. Transneft's other development priority is Siberia and the Far East region. "We are looking for active emergence in the Asia-Pacific region so as to secure protection from export tensions for our oilmen," he noted. The main project here is the pipeline linking Taishet and the Perevoznaya bay in the south of East Siberia, where an oil terminal will be built, Mr. Vainshtok said. "The total cost of this project is 11.5 billion dollars. It will be funded from our own and borrowed sources," he said. Construction will be done in two stages. First, a pipeline from Taishet to Skovorodino will be laid while simultaneously beginning the Perevoznaya terminal's service. Thus, about 30 million tons of oil will be transported to Skovorodino with subsequent railage to China or Perevoznaya. After that, the second stage of the Skovorodino-Perevoznaya pipeline will be finalized. Mr. Vainshtok said the development of the northern direction for carrying 25 million tons of oil annually from the Timan-Pechora basin and Komi to the Barents Sea coast was a longer-term project. The total building cost is expected to be $6 billion. With regard to the forecast for Transneft's total 2005 capacity, Mr. Vainshtok said it could rise to "at least 255 million tons, or nearly twice the capacity in 1999 and 16 percent more than in 2004, when it stood at 238 million tons." "It exceeds two times the annual increment in oil production in Russia, which in recent years was about 8 percent," he said. His company is going to invest about one billion dollars in updating Russia's present pipelines. At the same time, the pipeline accident rate is now 0.04 accidents per 1,000 kilometers of pipeline. "For now, it is the best indicator in the world," Mr. Vainshtok said.
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