Energy Cooperation the Key Link to Russia-China Economic Tie-up
Energy cooperation has become the ‘backbone” of the Russia-China economic partnership, as bi-lateral interaction is expected to speed up in all economic fields.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich expressed the confidence that bi-lateral economic cooperation would continue to grow steadily in various fields.
“China is a key foreign political partner of Russia and our main trading partner,” Mr. Dvorkovich wrote last week.
He noted that bi-lateral cooperation would be further coordinated during Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli’s visit to Russia on 30-31 May for the 13th meeting of the China-Russia Energy Cooperation Committee and the 2nd forum on China-Russia small and medium-sized companies.
“At the meeting on energy cooperation, we plan to discuss all the issues that are at the center of our attention, namely the interaction and implementation of projects in the fields of Crude Oil, Nat Gas, electric energy, nuclear power, coal and some others,” Mr. Dvorkovich said.
Konstantin Simonov, director general of the Moscow-based National Energy Security Foundation, noted that the issue of Nat Gas supply through the western route would be discussed during the meetings, particularly the unsettled problems like the supply price and the route location.
Mr. Simonov said that the supply will be pricey if China uses the western Gas route to supply Nat Gas as to its eastern regions.
In May 2014, China and Russia struck a long-awaited 30-year Nat Gas deal using the eastern “Power of Siberia” route, with an annual Nat Gas supply of 38BCM from Y 2018.
Mr. Simonov said it is possible that the 2 countries would discuss the expansion of supply through the eastern Gas pipeline.
“There is also an idea of extending to China the pipeline that goes from Sakhalin to Vladivostok, both in Russia’s Far East,” Mr. Simonov said.
The expert added that China has a “promising and dynamic Nat Gas market” as it “has become more careful with coal-based generation” considering mining security and environmental pollution.
Meanwhile, the declining Nat Gas price and the geographical factors also make Russia a comfortable choice for China, Mr. Simonov added.
Besides Nat Gas supply, the Crude Oil trade between the 2 countries is also developing dynamically in terms of physical volumes, according to Mr. Simonov.
Statistics released by China’s General Administration of Customs showed Russia was the 2nd largest Crude Oil supplier to China last year with a volume of 42.43-M tonnes, up 28% compared with Y 2014, when China overtook Germany as Russia’s #1 Crude Oil consumer.
“I believe that cooperation in the field of energy is today the backbone of our economic interaction. The role of energy in Russian-Chinese trade is enormous,” Mr. Simonov said, hailing bi-lateral energy cooperation as mutually beneficial.