Russia needs co-operation with the USA in the energy sphere

Publish date: February 20, 2005

Russia must focus attention on energy co-operation with the United States.

According to a Lukoil press service report, Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil’s president, expressed this opinion at a conference of the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) held in Houston, RIA-Novosti reported. In his report on prospects for Russian-American energy dialogue, he pointed out “Russia clearly understands now that its reliance on Europe as the only consumer cannot last.” In Alekperov’s words, for several years now Russian companies have been making trial raw materials supplies to both the West and the East. Thus, last year Russia exported 145,000 barrels of oil a day to the United States, and 216,000 barrels a day to China. “The final choice will be made only when it is clear which of the two directions is better developed from the point of view of pipeline and port infrastructure,” Alekperov stressed.

In Houston, Lukoil’s president made a proposal to build a pipeline towards Murmansk within the framework of a strategic alliance concluded in 2004 by Lukoil and ConocoPhillips (on the establishment of a joint venture for developing the northern part of the Timan-Pechora oil and gas-bearing province). In the opinion of Mr. Alekperov and the company’s specialists, “the cost of oil transportation by this route to the US eastern coast would be twice lower than oil delivery by the Middle East- Gulf of Mexico route.”

“By uniting Russia’s scientific and industrial potential with the United States’ technological and financial potential, we could attain impressive results. Thus far, this scenario has been translated into life only at the level of individual companies. Its implementation on an interstate level would be in our common interests,” Lukoil’s president said in conclusion, reported RIA-Novosti.