UPDATE 1-Russia to keep up western oil export as Asia flows grow

Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:49am EST

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* No extra supply next year for Rosneft's Komsomolsk refinery (Adds Transneft execs on source of oil for expanded pipeline, refinery requests for additional crude)

MOSCOW, Dec 19 (Reuters) - State pipeline operator Transneft said Russia will be able to sustain crude oil exports to the West next year even as it increases deliveries to Asia via an expanded link to the Pacific port of Kozmino.

Transneft Deputy Vice President Igor Katsal said crude oil would not be redirected from outlets in western Russia to fill the expanded East-Siberia-Pacific-Ocean (ESPO) pipeline, and predicted westward exports would be flat year-on-year in 2013.

Katsal said that, with state-owned oil company Rosneft's Vankor oilfield due to hit 25 million tonnes of production next year, up from 18 in 2012, exports of the pipeline's ESPO crude oil blend via the Pacific port of Kozmino could increase without robbing westward flows.

The expanded link to Russia's eastern oilfields, known as ESPO-2, is expected to carry up to 21 million tonnes of crude next year to Kozmino, which is less than full capacity, executives said on Wednesday.

Total Kozmino exports are likely to amount to as much as 25 million tonnes next year, including up to 4 million tonnes shipped by rail, the Russian pipeline monopoly said.

ESPO splits into two branches at the town of Skovorodino and delivers 15 million tonnes of crude oil per year to China. The pipeline was financed by an oil-backed loan from that country.

Some of Russia's eastern refineries are seeking more crude from the expanded pipeline but have yet to receive commitments of additional volumes which could detract from export.

Transneft CEO Nikolai Tokarev said Rosneft's Komsomolsk refinery would not receive additional volumes next year. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Melissa Akin; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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