Russia, China sign $25-bn energy deal

February 18th, 2009 - 6:27 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Feb 18 (DPA) Russia and China signed a $25-billion energy deal in Beijing Tuesday under which Russia will pump oil to its energy-hungry neighbour for the next 20 years in return for loans, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said.
Sechin, who overseas energy, secured the deal in a meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in the Chinese capital.

The agreement provides for the completion of a pipeline linking Siberian oil fields to northern China, agreed to in talks between the two countries’ premiers in October.

Late last year, Moscow had sought $20 billion to $25 billion in credit for energy major Rosneft and pipeline monopoly Transneft to build an extension of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline to northern China. The connection is expected to operate by end of year.

The accord will allow Moscow to diversify its client base from its current dependence on Europe.

The loan also comes at a critical time for Russian oil firm Rosneft, which is deep in debt and hit by the double whammy of falling production and slipping global crude prices.

Russia, the world second-largest producer of crude oil is China’s fifth largest supplier of oil.

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