Russia and China have launched a 3,600-kilometer pipeline to export the oil of the biggest producer in the world to the biggest consumer of the product.
The pipeline, linking Siberia to refineries in the northeastern Chinese city of Daqing, started its operation on Saturday.
"At 11:50 a.m., Yao Wei, general manager of the Pipeline Branch of Petro China Co., Ltd. (PBPC), pushed a button in the China-Russia border county of Mohe, Heilongjiang Province, five hours after the crude oil began being pumped through the pipeline to the border, marking the official start of operations after a two-month trial," China's Xinhua news agency reported.
As the first oil pipeline between Russia and China, it will allow Beijing to increase its oil imports from Moscow.
A total of 2,694 kilometers of the pipeline was constructed on the Russian side and some 930 kilometers of it was assembled in China.
Under a 2009 deal, China will import about 300,000 barrels or 15 million tons of oil per day through the new pipeline each year until 2030.
Before the inauguration of the pipeline, China was importing Russian crude through oil tankers.
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