Transneft has launched the second stage of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline. The main goal of the new branch is to transport oil from Western and Eastern Siberia to the Far East and the markets of the Asia-Pacific region. Experts say that the eponymous oil brand — ESPO — will soon become popular. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the ESPO project for Russia. This channel allows diversifying the export of energy resources. Thanks to the launch of the last stage of the pipeline, oil from Russian subsoil will go directly through the pipe to the port of Kozmino, from where it will be sent by tankers to Japan, China and the United States, bypassing transshipment at the railway terminals. For Russia, this opens up huge potential for export. Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia are new markets that can become the main consumers of Russian oil.
It is impossible to deny that Russia has interests in the Asian market. China has repeatedly announced an increase in energy needs, and Moscow has already signed several long-term supply contracts with Beijing. The goal is to go from the current 30 million tons to 70 or even 80 million tons of oil per year, says Vladimir Feigin, President of the Institute for Energy and Finance. At the same time, Russia has another trump card up its sleeve. This is a new type of oil — ESPO, says the expert:
«80 million tons is a very large volume that can be maneuvered during the transit of oil through two branches. The large volume of oil already supplied to foreign consumers has led to creating a new tradable grade of oil — ESPO. Buyers have noticed that the oil that goes in this direction — and this is oil from Western and Eastern Siberia — it is of better quality than Urals. It is cleaner and lighter, there is less sulfur. So as the volume of oil sold increases and will continue to grow, the chances of a new global oil marker will increase dramatically.»