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Sino-Russian energy cooperation

Reporter: Guan Yang 丨 CCTV.com

11-08-2016 05:43 BJT

With China being one of the world's largest oil consumers and Russia one of the world’s largest producers, it's no surprise that the two countries have deepened their relations through a number of energy projects. Reporter Guan Yang visited China's Daqing oilfield where Russian crude oil has been flowing into its domestic pipeline network since 2011.

The drops of water on the surface of this pipe are a sign that this crude oil from Russia is as cold as a Siberian winter. After traveling nearly 1000 kilometers from Russia, the black gold finally reaches the terminal station in China's Daqing.

"Unlike the oil of Daqing, the Russian crude has a much lower pour point. So there is no need for a heating system along the pipeline. The Russian oil keeps its flow characteristics while flowing under the permafrost," said Shen Wei, section chief of China Petroleum Bureau.

A lower pour point is associated with less paraffin content hence more gasolines can be derived by refining, it's this which provides the fuel for China's automobile frenzy.

Beijing and Moscow have long discussed supplying Russian energy to China. As early as 2000, the two countries had already envisioned potential pipeline routes which could link Russia’s Siberian oilfields to China’s Daqing oilfields. From where I am standing, everyday, thousands of barrels of Russian oil are entering the Pipeline Networks of Northeastern China.

The China-Russia Oil pipeline is a branch of the East Siberian - Pacific Ocean oil pipeline project. It was built to carry 15 million tonnes of Russian crude oil per year to China for 20 years. Since going into operation in January 2011, it has been a lifeline for Sino-Russian energy cooperation.

It also marks a milestone for the Chinese petroleum engineers to build and operate the country's first oil pipeline under the permafrost.

"We've gained knowledge and developed the required skills for the construction and maintenance of oil pipelines under permafrost. These experience have helped us to lay the second China-Russia oil pipeline which started construction this month," said Li Zhenjiang, deputy secretary of Daqing Oil & Gas Transit Company.

Other than oil and gas cooperation, the two countries have more avenues to explore in terms of other forms of energy.

"Coal reserves in Siberia offer the possibility to build more power-stations in Russia, and transfer electrical power to China. The two neighbors can also work together in renewable energies, especially the development of floating nuclear power plants," said Bao Wan, deputy director of School of Energy Science & Engineering of Harbin Institute of Technology.

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