Russia is building a massive, 50 billion cubic meter gas pipeline to China

After numerous European sanctions, the country looks to the East.
Ameya Paleja
A gas pipeline with Russia's flag on it.Smederevac/iStock

Russian gas major, Gazprom, is pushing ahead to build a 50 billion cubic meter gas pipeline to China amid economic sanctions imposed by Western countries, Business Insider reported.

Gas and oil exports made up a major part of Russia's economy with European countries being major clients. However, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European nations have put economic sanctions in place such as removing Russian banks from the international payments system but haven't halted Russian energy imports yet, Business Insider reported. 

Russian pipelines supplying gas

Germany has stalled plans for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is designed to carry gas into mainland Europe. However, Nord Stream 1 which currently supplies gas to Europe remains functional.

After energy majors such as Shell and BP declared their intentions to divest from Russian energy businesses, Gazprom is looking for avenues to expand its gas supply and as the world's fastest-growing gas market, China is an attractive destination. It also helps that China has refrained from calling Russia's recent military actions an invasion. 

In 2014, Gazprom had signed a 30-year deal with China to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas a year. Supplies as part of this deal began in 2019 when the Power of Siberia pipeline was completed, Bloomberg reported.

Soyuz Vostok pipeline

Gazprom is now looking to further extend its relationship with China by building the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, also called Soyuz Vostok. In a press release, the company said that its Chairman Alexey Miller had recently met the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, Sainbuyan Amarsaikhan to discuss the implementation of the pipeline through Mongolia. 

During the meeting, a design and survey work contract was signed for the construction of the pipeline that involves Mongolian companies to carry out land and archaeological surveys and assess the impact of the project on the environment, the press release said. 

Last month, the feasibility report of the project was approved according to which the pipeline would see a 598-mile stretch run through Mongolian territory. The diameter of the pipes used would be 1.42 meters in diameter, or about 56 inches, with five compressor stations to be installed along the route to enable 50 billion cubic meters or 1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas to be sent to China. 

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If the deal with China goes through, Russia will also build an interconnector between its west and east-bound pipelines paving the way to redirect the gas, that is currently being supplied to Europe, towards China, thereby reducing its dependence on European imports.

"Work on the Soyuz Vostok gas pipeline project is actively and successfully progressing. A month ago, the results of the feasibility study were approved, and today a design contract has been signed. This means that the project has moved to the practical stage," said Alexey Miller in the press release. 


Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the diameter of the pipeline. The accurate measurements are in the story. IE regrets the error.

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