Russia Russia opens Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China

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Workers burst into applause and celebratory music played as the CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, speaking from the Amur region, ordered a valve opened for the gas to flow across the border. China passed Japan as the world's largest importer of natural gas past year, when it imported 125.35 billion cubic meters of the 276.6 billion it used, according (link in Chinese) to CNPC.

As multiple Canadian pipeline projects linger in limbo, Russian Federation and China have just turned on the taps on a natural gas behemoth long enough to connect Timmins, Ont., to Burnaby, B.C.

The 3,000-km-long (1,865 mile) Power of Siberia pipeline will transport gas from the Chayandinskoye and Kovytka fields in eastern Siberia, for at least the next three decades and generate $400 billion in export revenue for Russian Federation. The country's gas exports all head to the U.S., McNiven said, because while China is an appealing market that it would like to target, Canada does not even have an LNG export terminal that would allow it to become a global exporter.

President Xi told Putin, "East-route natural gas pipeline is a landmark project of China-Russia energy cooperation and a paradigm of deep convergence of both countries' interests and win-win cooperation".

The project could help China's National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, meet a target of making natural gas 10% of the country's energy mix by 2020, and 15% by 2030.

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Gazprom has stressed that the pipeline ran through "swampy, mountainous, seismically active, permafrost and rocky areas with extreme environmental conditions".

The pipeline, he continued, "takes Russia-China energy cooperation to a whole new level and brings us closer to achieving the goal set together with Chinese President Xi Jinping of extending bilateral trade turnover to $200 billion in 2024". It crosses into Heilongjiang Province near the North Korea border.

Friendly Russian-Chinese ties have been gradually developing based on the principles of transparency and mutual respect, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

The pipeline's capacity could further increase beyond 2024, PetroChina Vice President Ling Xiao said in June. Moscow and Kyiv have been struggling to reach a deal on gas transit amid friction over Russia's annexation of Crimea and its backing of pro-Russian separatists in the war in eastern Ukraine. Initially, the pipeline was expected to be launched on December 20, but the work was completed faster.

A second gas pipeline being built from Russian Federation to Turkey, TurkStream, also would bypass Ukraine, supplying Turkey and southern Europe. Authorities hope the 5 billion cubic meters it pumps into northern China over the next year will ease supply pressure in Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin area during winter heating season.

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