Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline (also known as ESPO pipeline or ESPOOP; Russian: Нефтепровод "Восточная Сибирь - Тихий океан" (ВСТО); Chinese: 东西伯利亚-太平洋输油管道) is a pipeline system for exporting Russia crude oil to the Asia-Pacific markets (Japan, China, and South Korea). The pipeline is built and operated by Russian pipeline company Transneft.


The original project of this pipeline was proposed by the Russian oil company Yukos in 2001 as an independent oil pipeline. The project proposed to build a pipeline from Angarsk, where Yukos operated a refinery, to Daqing in northern China.[1] At the same time, Transneft proposed an alternative project to pipe oil from Taishet in Irkutsk Oblast to the Far East port Kozmino near Nakhodka.[2] In May 2003, the Russian Government decided to combine these projects and that Transneft would be in charge of the pipeline, while Yukos would supply the oil.[3] On 29 May 2003, Russia and China signed an agreement on construction of the pipeline.[2] On 31 December 2004, the Russian government approved the construction of the pipeline from Taishet in East Siberia to Pervoznaya in the Pacific region.[4]

Construction of the pipeline started in April 2006.[5] On 4 October 2008, the section between Taishet and Talakan was launched in a reverse to pump oil from Surgutneftegas-owned Alinsky deposit.[6]

Phase I (ESPO 1)

The first stage of the pipeline was completely laid in May 2009 and the whole first stage was reversed in December 2009. The terminal at Kozmino was inaugurated by Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin on 28 December 2009.[7]

Phase I originates in Tayshet, Russia, and terminates in Kozmino, Russia.

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  • Operator: Transneft
  • Owner: Transneft
  • Parent company:
  • Capacity: 80 mtpa[8]
  • Length: 3,801 kilometers
  • Status: Operating
  • Start year: 2009

Phase II (ESPO 2; Russia-China Crude Oil Pipeline)

Construction of the Phase II, also known as the Russia-China Crude Oil Pipeline, began in 2010 after the launch of Phase I. The second phase would run from Skovorodino to the Pacific Ocean.[9] In the meantime, oil was transported from Skovorodino to Kozmino by rail.[10] The second stage was inaugurated on 25 December 2012.[11]

In June 2009, Russia and China signed a deal to build the spur pipeline to China by which Russia supplies China with 15 million tonnes each year for 20 years in exchange for a loan worth US$25 billion to Russian companies Transneft and Rosneft for pipeline and oil fields development.[12] Construction of the spur to China started in the Russian territory on 27 April 2008 and in Chinese territory on 18 May 2009.[9][13] The 64 km long section from Skovorodino to the Amur River on Russia-China border was built by Transneft and the 992 km long section from Russia-China border to Daqing was built by the China National Petroleum Corporation.[9] It was completed in September 2010.[14] On 1 January 2011, Russia said it had begun scheduled oil shipments to China.[15]

Phase II runs from Skovorodino, Russia to the Amur River on Russia-China border, then to Daqing, China.

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  • Operator:
  • Owner: PipeChina[16]
  • Parent company: PipeChina
  • Capacity: 50 mtpa[8]
  • Length: 1,056 kilometers
  • Status: Operating
  • Start year: 2011


The 4,857-km pipeline is being laid by the route of Taishet-Kazachinskoye-Skovorodino, Skovorodino-Kozmino.[17] Because of environmental organizations' protests, the initial pipeline route was moved 40 km north of Lake Baikal. Instead of going through Buryatia, it was built through the Sakha Republic.[18] The Taishet to Skovorodino route is 2,757-km long, and the Skovorodino to Kozmino route is 2,100-km long.[17] The Skovorodino extension branch pipeline would extend through Mohe to Daqing, China.[19] The Phase II branch runs 64 kilometers from Skovorodino to the Amur River on Russia-China border, plus a 992-kilometer section from the Russia-China border to Daqing.

There is a plan to lay a parallel Yakutia–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok gas pipeline alongside the oil pipeline.[20][21]

Technical features

The initial capacity of the 122-cm diameter pipeline was 600,000 barrels per day. By 2016 the capacity of the pipeline was increased to 1,000,000 barrels per day, with plans to expand the pipeline to 1,600,000 barrels per day by 2025. The capacity of the link to China is 600,000 barrels per day and its section in the Russian territory cost US$600 million.[22][23][24]

The pipeline consists of 32 pumping stations, including 13 with tank farms with a total capacity of 2.67 million cubic meters. For feeding pumping stations with electricity, a 35 MW power station was built near the town of Olyokminsk in the Sakha Republic. It is fired by the crude oil from the ESPO pipeline. The power station is designed for independent operation in demanding Arctic temperature conditions.[25] The terminal at Kozmino has a tank farm with a capacity of 350,000 cubic meters. The loading capacity of the terminal is 300,000 barrels per day.[24][26]

The first stage was built by Systema SpecStroy, Krasnodarstroytransgaz, Vostok Story, Promstroy, Amerco Int. and IP Set Spb.[27][28] Five 16V32 crude oil-fired engines for the pipeline-related power station were delivered in summer 2008 by Wärtsilä.[25] The first stage of the pipeline cost US$12.27 billion and the export terminal cost $1.74 billion.[27]

Resource base

The pipeline is supplied from the oil fields of Tomsk Oblast and the Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug in Western Siberia along the existing Omsk–Irkutsk pipeline that joins the ESPO pipeline in Taishet, as well as oil provinces of Eastern Siberia. At the initial stage 22 million tons of oil is supplied by Rosneft and 8 million tons by Surgutneftegas.


Environmental justice

Photo Credit: Environmental Justice Atlas, http://bit.ly/2xDraGO

The pipeline drew opposition from a number of environmental groups and their supporters, including Greenpeace, UNESCo, and WWF, along with regional and local groups.[29] The opposition included street protests, petitions, and other visible mobilization against the pipeline, which ultimately contributed to a change in the first design of the pipeline as proposed by environmental organizations.[29]

Embezzlement allegations

In November 2010, one of the minor shareholders of Transneft, Alexey Navalny, accused the company for US$4 billion embezzlement during the construction of the pipeline.[30][30] These accusations were denied by Nikolay Tokarev, head of Transneft.[30]

Dispute with CNPC

In 2011, a dispute rose over payments for oil delivery through the pipeline. Transneft alleged that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) violated its supply contract, an allegation that CNPC did not acknowledge. The contract stipulate the monthly volumes of oil according to the agreed price formula, which is less than the spot price of oil.[31][32]

Expansion projects

Russia–China Crude Oil Parallel Pipeline

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  • Operator:
  • Owner: PipeChina
  • Parent company: PipeChina
  • Capacity: 15 mtpa[33]
  • Length: 942 kilometers[33]
  • Status: Operating[33][34]
  • Start year: 2018

The Russia-China Crude Oil Parallel Pipeline is the Chinese branch of the Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline and a parallel pipeline to Phase II. It's owned by the China National Petroleum Corporation and transports 15 mtpa over 942 kilometers. Construction began in 2016[35] and operations began in 2018.[36][37][38][39][33]

The pipeline originates in Mohe, Heilongjiang, China, and terminates in Linyuan, Daqing, Heilongjiang, China.

Articles and resources


  1. Helmer, John (2005-04-29). "China beats Japan in Russian pipeline race". Asia Times. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "China, Russia sign oil pipeline agreement". China Daily. 2003-05-29. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  3. Helmer, John (2008-11-01). "China ties up Russia's crude - again". Asia Times. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  4. "Russia approves Pacific pipeline". BBC News. 2004-12-31. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  5. "Transneft Sets to Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline". Kommersant. 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  6. Blagov, Sergei (2008-10-22). "Russia sees eastern pipeline as a "major victory"". Eurasia Daily Monitor. Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  7. Bryanski, Gleb (2009-12-28). "Russia's Putin launches new Pacific oil terminal". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dmitrieva, Anastasia; Griffin, Rosemary (2019-11-27). "Russia targets Asia with expanded ESPO pipeline, competes with Saudi Arabia". www.spglobal.com. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Watkins, Eric (2009-05-05). "China to begin construction of 992-km ESPO 'extension'". Oil & Gas Journal. 107. PennWell Corporation. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  10. Watkins, Eric (2009-02-17). "China, Russia agree on loans for ESPO pipeline spur". Oil & Gas Journal. 107 (41). PennWell Corporation. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  11. "Russia Launches Second Leg of Pacific Oil Pipeline". RIA Novosti. 2012-12-25. Archived from the original on 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  12. Kim, Lucian (2009-02-17). "Russia Agrees to $25 Billion Oil-for-Loans Deal With China". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2009-02-17. Text "Bloomberg " ignored (help)
  13. "Chinese Envoy to Russia: Oil Pipeline Serves Strategic Goals of Both Sides". BBC Monitoring. Downstream Today. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  14. Page, Jeremy (2010-09-26). "Russian Oil Route Will Open to China". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  15. Soldatkin, Vladimir (2011-01-01). "Russia in milestone oil pipeline supply to China". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  16. 重磅:国家管网正式运营!, dy.163.com, Oct. 9, 2020
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Transneft ready to bring ESPO Pipeline section online". Pipelines International. Scientific Surveys, Great Southern Press. 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  18. "Russia approves new ESPO pipeline route". RIA Novosti. 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  19. "Russia-China pipeline progressing". Upstream (newspaper). NHST Media Group. 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2007-12-08. Text "Upstream Online " ignored (help)
  20. Watkins, Eric (2009-01-29). "Putin says ESPO may have parallel gas line". Oil & Gas Journal. 107 (6). PennWell Corporation. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  21. "Russia's Gazprom mulls new liquefaction plant in country's Far East". Platts. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
  22. "Work on second leg of East-Siberian pipeline could start 2015". RIA Novosti. 2007-07-19. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  23. "China leg of Siberia oil pipeline to cost $600 mln - Transneft". RIA Novosti. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Trevethan, Catherine. "Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) Pipeline" (GIF). Reuters. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Wartsila Announces Major Contracts for 2007". Wärtsilä. Downstream Today. 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  26. "Transneft to start oil terminal construction in Kozmino". Vladivostok News. 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Mosolova, Tanya (2007-12-27). "Russia delays Asian oil pipeline to Q3 2009". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  28. "Transneft cites Siberian-Pacific slow-down". Scandinavian Oil-Gas Magazine. 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2007-11-25.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Pipeline Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean and Baikal lake, Russia, Environmental Justice Atlas, accessed October 2017
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Soldatkin, Vladimir (2011-01-14). "Russia's Transneft denies $4 bln theft". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  31. Helmer, John (2011-05-05). "Russia, China clash over oil price, supply". Asia Times. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  32. O'Cinneide, Eoin (2011-07-01). "Transneft: 'CNPC rift ongoing'". Upstream (newspaper). NHST Media Group. Retrieved 2011-07-06. Text "Upstream Online " ignored (help)
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 "China–Russia Crude Oil Pipeline Second Line Project". Baiku. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  34. "中俄原油管道十五年谈判纪实--国际--人民网". world.people.com.cn. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  35. "Xinhua Net". Xinhua Net. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  36. The second line of Sino-Russian crude oil pipeline was completed on the east line of China and Russia or recently launched in full swing., tianheoil.com, accessed November 12, 2019
  37. 中俄原油管道二线工程, baike.baidu.com, accessed November 12, 2019
  38. Sino-Russian Energy: Sino-Russian crude oil pipeline second-line project will be officially put into operation next year, when the oil volume will double - Xinhua, Reuters, November 12, 2017
  39. Sino-Russian crude oil pipeline second line officially put into commercial operation, cnpc.com, January 2, 2018

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External resources

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External articles