(Russia) - Russia's president says Russia would begin construction of a $15 billion Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline this summer.
During a visit to the semiautonomous Siberian district of Sakha (formerly known as Yakutia), Vladimir Putin predicted the final paperwork should be completed by April.
The pipeline will run some 4,200 km, most of it underground, and should be capable of transporting up to 1.6 MMb/d of oil to China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Australia.
The first stage of the project is to build an oil pipeline from the town of Taishet in Siberia's Irkutsk region to Skovorodino in the Amur region. It envisions an oil terminal on the shore of Perevoznaya Bay on the Pacific Coast.
The Siberia-Pacific pipeline, when completed, is anticipated to be the longest and most expensive oil pipeline in the world.
It will be more than three times as long as the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, and will cost at least $15 billion.
Putin said construction of the first segment of the pipeline should be completed in 2008.