China, Russia agree to build pipeline section in Far East: report
Published: Nov 02, 2023 11:05 PM
China Russia Photo: VCG

China Russia Photo: VCG

Russian energy firm Gazprom signed an agreement on Wednesday with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and PipeChina on the design and construction of a pipeline section in the Far East, which will be used to deliver Russian gas to China, Sputnik News reported on Thursday.

Building a pipeline usually takes years, but experts said that the signing of the agreement indicates further bilateral progress in clean energy cooperation via the Far Eastern route, which will help ensure China's energy security amid external uncertainties.

According to the Sputnik report, enterprises from the two countries will coordinate on the design and construction of the cross-border section of the gas pipeline connecting the Russian city of Dalnerechensk with Hulin city, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, across the Wusuli River, also known as the Ussuri River in Russia.

"China and Russia have strong complementarities in the energy sector, and there is still plenty of room for cooperation. The latest agreement will further enrich the channels for Russian gas imports to China," Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

At present, China and Russia have only one land-based natural gas pipeline, which is known as the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline. Russia started gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline in December 2019. 

In October this year, Gazprom and CNPC signed an additional agreement to the gas sales contract on the eastern route via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline for an extra volume of Russian gas supplies to China by the end of 2023, according to Tass.

In February 2022, Gazprom signed a contract with CNPC to supply 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year via the Far Eastern route. After the implementation of the project, the total volume of Russian gas supply to China will reach 48 bcm. In January this year, China and Russia signed an inter-governmental agreement to supply natural gas to China through the Far Eastern route, Tass reported.

In addition, China, Russia and Mongolia are working to push the construction of the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline, which will give China more alternatives in terms of gas supply. The pipeline will deliver previously Europe-bound gas from western Siberian fields to China for the first time, and it has a target date of being online in 2030, the Financial Times reported in July, citing Mongolian officials.

"In a volatile external environment, diversified natural gas pipelines to China are conducive to further ensuring the country's energy security," Lin noted.

China has formed four strategic corridors for utilizing overseas natural gas resources -- the Central Asia-China gas pipeline, Myanmar-China gas pipeline, China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas trade via sea.