(Adds details, background)
MOSCOW, June 10 Russia's Pacific port of Kozmino
plans to export 24.6 million tonnes of oil this year (494,000
barrels per day), up from 21.3 million tonnes last year, Deputy
Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said on Tuesday.
Russia is ramping up exports eastwards as it tries to reduce
reliance on its main market, Europe, because of the threat of
expanded EU sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.
In January, the port operator said that exports this year
were expected to total 22-23 million tonnes. Molodtsov did not
say whether exports to Europe would fall as a result of the
Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for oil pipeline monopoly Transneft
, confirmed the new figure. He said that of the total
24.6 million tonnes to be shipped, 1.2 million would be
delivered to the port by railway and the rest via the East
Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline.
An increase in exports eastwards may push up the price of
Russia's main export blend, Urals, to European refineries which
receive it via pipelines and ports.
That could further squeeze their margins at a time when many
are under pressure because of large volumes of oil product
exports from Russia and the United States, and some European
plants have been forced to close.
Russian oil exports declined by 2.5 percent to 228.5 million
tonnes in 2013, according to Energy Ministry data, and are
expected to fall further to 225 million tonnes (4.5 million bpd)
this year due to an increase in domestic production of refined
As a part of Moscow's shift eastwards, the Energy Ministry
predicts that the share of oil and oil products sent to Asia
will double to 23 percent by 2035.
By then, Russia aims to ship a total of 32 percent of its
oil to Asia, with gas rising to 31 percent from 6 percent.
Russia sent around 16 percent of its total oil exports to
Asia last year and is exporting gas to Asia only from the
Sakhalin-2 LNG plant, which has total annual capacity of 10
Last month, Gazprom signed a $400 billion deal to
ship 38 billion cubic metres of gas to China annually after the
necessary pipeline infrastructure is built - a volume comparable
to what it now ships to its largest client, Germany.
(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; writing by Katya Golubkova;
Editing by Mark Trevelyan)