Russia's Transneft fully pays off $10 billion Chinese loan

A general view of oil tanks in the Transneft – Kozmino Port near the far eastern town of Nakhodka, Russia November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Maltsev

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft TRNF_p.MM has fully paid a $10 billion loan from China ahead of schedule and has repaid $1.5 billion worth of eurobond debt last month, its head, Nikolai Tokarev, said in an interview with Expert magazine.

In the interview, published on Transneft’s website on Monday, Tokarev said that the company had fully redeemed the Chinese loan in July, 10 years ahead of the initial schedule.

Separately, Russian news agencies cited him as saying that the company has no more debt denominated in foreign currency.

Transneft, under U.S. sanctions over Moscow’s role in Ukraine’s crises, obtained the 20-year loan in 2009 from the China Development Bank as part of a package together with Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, which got $15 billion in loans in return for supplies from huge new East Siberian oilfields.

Since then, China has become Russia’s single largest buyer of oil thanks to a pipeline to the Pacific shore, securing supplies of more than 1 million barrels per day, as part of Moscow’s plans to diversify its markets.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Louise Heavens