Russian ministry wants oil pipeline to Murmansk

Publish date: June 8, 2005

The Russian Ministry of Industry and Energy has started a project on how to construct an oil pipeline from Siberia to Murmansk. The project will be elaborated by 2007, says minister Viktor Khristenko. The minister announced the news after recent talks with his US counterpart Carlos Gutierres. The pipeline has an estimated cost of up to 4,5 billion USD. Capacity will be up to 80 million tons of oil per year, BarentsObserver reported.

The newspaper Biznes Klass writes that the ministry considers two alternative routes for the pipeline, one from western Siberia to Ukhta (Komi Republic) and to Murmansk (3600 km) and one from western Siberia to Ukhta and to Murmansk across the White Sea (2500 km). Minister Khristenko says the oil will be destined to the US market.

The project of the Ministry of Industry and Energy could revitalise plans for a pipeline to Murmansk, as proposed a couple of years ago by five of the leading Russian oil companies. Then the Yukos company was the initiator of the idea. State-owned Russian pipeline monopoly company Transneft has however strongly opposed the Murmansk pipeline. Transneft is instead working for a pipeline to the Indiga settlement in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. It remains unclear whether Ministry of Industry and Energy wants the construction of both pipelines.