The decision on whether to build an oil pipeline from Russia to Northeast China will be delayed
further after Russia's energy minister announced that Japan had offered US$7 billion in
loans and investments to persuade Russia to build an alternative pipeline.
In what has been seen as a possible bargaining ploy, Russia has said it can only build one pipeline because it has not found enough oil in its Eastern Siberian fields to fill both.
Japan wants Russia to build a 3,900 km, US$5.8 billion pipeline to pump one million barrels a day to the Pacific coast.
The alternative US$2.8 billion, 2,400 km pipeline to northeast China would be capable of delivering 400,000 barrels a day but has been delayed for months as negotiations continue.
The chairman of Yukos, the Russian company proposing the pipeline to Daqing in northeast China, said his company expected to be able to meet its targets for shipping between 10 million and 15 million tons of crude oil a year to China over the next decade using rail shipments if the Russian government doesn't go ahead with the