The construction of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline keeps to the schedule, with its first phase to be completed by the end of this year, the president of Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said on Tuesday.
"I believe that the first phase of the ESPO pipeline will be concluded by the end of this year, and then the construction of the second phase will start immediately," Itar-Tass quoted Nikolai Tokarev as saying at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
A total of 2,700 km of the first stage of the pipeline has been laid and equipment is being mounted at pumping stations and the Kozmino seaport, Tokarev said, adding that the second stage's blueprints will be ready by November.
Construction and assembly works in the pipeline's extension to China will be finished by the middle of September, he said.
The ESPO pipeline, running from Taishet in Eastern Siberia to the Far East port of Nakhodka, has a length of over 4,000 km.
In February, Russia and China signed cooperation deals on the construction of an ESPO branch toward China and long-term Russian oil supplies to China.
The branch, which runs from Russia's Siberian city of Skovorodino to China's northeastern city of Daqing as its terminalvia China's border city of Mohe, is expected to go into operation in October 2010.