President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Nikolai Petrovich, when I visited Khabarovsk and held a meeting there on February 8 this year, I gave a number of instructions to you and a some of the ministers, as you probably remember, concerning construction of our Pacific ocean mainline pipeline.
I would like to get an update on the current situation. What stage is the project at now? What is the interim timetable for the first construction stage, and what is being done at present to make sure all the ESPO [East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline] construction work is completed on schedule, and of course, meets the required quality standards?
Please report in full.
President of Transneft Nikolai Tokarev: Dmitry Anatolyevich, just before the meeting in Khabarovsk we made an in-depth analysis of the current situation with the ESPO project’s implementation in order to establish exactly where we stand, as a change of management had just taken place at the company. This analysis revealed a number of objective and subjective factors that have had a substantial impact on the work timetable and the quality of construction at ESPO sites and installations.
Among the objective factors are, above all, an increase in the pipeline route’s length resulting from changes to the route’s configuration, and extreme weather conditions.
The primary subjective factor was the way subcontractors involved in the construction were organising their work and carrying out their obligations.
All necessary measures were taken following this analysis. The pace of construction work has trebled, approximately. Subcontractors failing to perform their assigned work are no longer involved in the project. Today, we have around 8,000 people and more than 3,500 units of technical equipment engaged in work on the ESPO project, and the work schedule has been adjusted. The design work on the Kozmino oil sea terminal has been completed and construction has already begun.
Dmitry Medvedev: We spoke about the Kozmino oil terminal back then too.
Nikolai Tokarev: We have reason to expect that the installations will be completed on schedule and that everything will be ready by the end of next year.
This year, at the end of September, we plan to bring on line, working in reverse regime, a 1,100-km stretch of completed pipeline between the Talakan oil field, operated by Surgutneftegaz, and Taishet. A 400-km stretch of the pipeline is already carrying oil and practically half of the pipeline’s first stage will be running in production regime. The oil will enter the system currently in operation.
Dmitry Medvedev: You’re talking about the first stage, from Taishet to Skovorodino?
Nikolai Tokarev: Yes, from Taishet to Skovorodino.
Dmitry Medvedev: And then the second stage is from Skovorodino to Kozmino.
Nikolai Tokarev: Yes, it practically follows the border. Prospecting work is currently underway along the second stage. This will be completed by the end of the year and we will prepare a technical and economic feasibility study for the project.
Dmitry Medvedev: When will it be ready?
Nikolai Tokarev: I think it will be ready by the middle of next year. All the necessary expert reports and evaluations for the project proposal will be carried out. Construction work on the second stage will begin after the completion of the first stage’s construction in December 2009.
Dmitry Medvedev: Nikolai Petrovich, you need to make sure in future that there are no more problems with deadlines and quality. You need to sort out in full the situation with the subcontractors that have not carried out their work, taking them to court and demanding from them the required money if part of the work had already been paid for, advance payments made and so on. You need to organise work on completing the first stage and on building the second stage in such a way as to ensure there will be no need to come back to this issue. As you know, the ESPO is a very important pipeline for developing our country and reaching our economic, social and political objectives. We cannot afford to have any disruption to the work and to ensuring that the project is entirely completed on time and as planned.
I ask you to work on this together with the Government.