Pictured: the ceremony
Transneft has brought the Eastern Siberia — Pacific Ocean (ESPO PS) pipeline system to its maximum capacity.
The ceremony took place on 27 November 2019 during a meeting of the Company’s Board of Directors in the city of Moscow, organized as a video conference with Bratsk and Khabarovsk where the center of dispatcher control and monitoring of the pipeline sections is located, as well as with the port of Kozmino, the terminal point of ESPO. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak and President of Transneft Nikolay Tokarev commanded the launch of completed oil pumping stations that will ensure the maximum capacity of ESPO PS operations.
The management of Transneft East and Transneft Far East reported the successful launch of the new operating facilities, as well as ESPO-1 and ESPO-2 reaching the maximum capacity of 80 MTPA and 50 MTPA of crude respectively. The port of Kozmino, that is the terminal point of the oil trunk pipeline, confirmed its readiness to accept higher volumes of Russian crude to be delivered there soon over the ESPO system.
Right now the ESPO-grade oil is being fed in the full capacity mode, the operating parameters being normal.
The Eastern Siberia — Pacific Ocean oil trunk pipeline was built in accordance with the Russian government decree on pipeline transportation of oil from the oilfields of Eastern and Western Siberia to the refineries of Russia’s Far East and APR countries.
As per the original plans, the project was to be completed by 2030, but because of the high demand for this delivery route among petroleum companies, Transneft decided to finish the works within record times, ten years ahead of the schedule.
The capacity of the ESPO oil pipeline has increased in two segments: buildup of Phase I (ESPO-1) to 80 MTPA and of Phase II (ESPO-2) to 50 MTPA of oil.
ESPO-1 (Tayshet — Skovorodino section)
It took three years to build the Tayshet — Skovorodino section (ESPO-1) of the Eastern Siberia — Pacific Ocean oil pipeline system, which was commissioned in 2009. The 2,694-km Phase I of the ESPO PS crosses the territories of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Irkutsk and Amur Regions.
In the same year, the oil port in Kozmino Bay was commissioned for oil delivery by tankers to APR markets and China. Prior to ESPO-2 commissioning in 2012, oil had been delivered from Skovorodino to Kozmino by railway transport.
At the initial stage, operational infrastructure of Phase I of ESPO PS included 7 oil pumping stations, its throughput capacity standing at 30 MTPA.
In 2010, Transneft launched the works to increase the capacity of ESPO-1 to 80 MTPA of oil.
2011 marked the beginning of commercial crude supplies to China via the 64-km Skovorodino — Mohe offshoot. The initial capacity of this offshoot came to 15 MTPA.
In 2012, five oil pumping stations were commissioned (No. 12, 13, 16, 18 and 20), which built up the capacity of ESPO-1 to 50 MTPA.
In 2014, after three more PS were added (No. 11, 15, 19), the capacity rose to 58 MTPA.
In 2017, the capacity of the Skovorodino — Mohe OTP was increased to 30 MTPA. In 2018, commercial oil supplies to China via the Skovorodino — Mohe offshoot reached 28.3 MTPA. This year, the plan calls for a new high of 30 MTPA to be achieved.
In 2018, three more PS (No. 3, 6 and 9) were added to the operational infrastructure of the ESPO-1 PS that pushed up the delivery capacity of the pipeline system to 72 MTPA.
After the commissioning of PS No. 2, 5 and 7, the delivery capacity had finally reached the planned 80 MTPA.
ESPO-2 (Skovorodino — Kozmino section)
Construction of Phase II of the ESPO pipeline system — from Skovorodino (Amur Region) to the oil port of Kozmino (Primorye Territory) — commenced in 2010. It was commissioned in 2012 — two years earlier than the scheduled date. The length of ESPO-2 is 2,047 km, the pipeline route running across the territory of four Far East regions (Khabarovsk Territory, Primorye Territory, Jewish Autonomous Region and Amur Region). The ESPO-2 commissioning allowed gradual abandoning of oil supplies to Kozmino port by railway transport.
At the time of its commissioning in December 2012, the capacity of ESPO’s Phase II stood at 30 MTPA of crude. Its structure at that moment included eight PS — No. 24, 27, 30, 34, 36, 38, 40 and 41.
In 2015, the IOGC Khabarovsk Refinery was connected to the ESPO-2 system over a 28-km offshoot pipeline having the planned capacity of 6 million tonnes of crude per year. Prior to its commissioning, crude had been delivered to the refinery by rail.
By the end of 2015, the capacity of the ESPO-2 oil pipeline had been increased to 35 million tonnes.
In December 2017, after the commissioning of PS No. 29 in Amur Region the capacity rose to 36.7 million tonnes. Later that year, the construction of new PS (No. 23, 26 and 32), as well as the revamping of the operating stations, commenced.
An oil pipeline offshoot from the ESPO-2 PS to the Komsomolsk Refinery was commissioned in July 2019, having the capacity of 8 MTPA.
Completion of the works to boost the capacity of ESPO-2 enabled Transneft to raise its delivery capacity to the planned level of 50 MTPA.
The port of Kozmino is the terminal point of the Eastern Siberia — Pacific Ocean pipeline system (ESPO PS), designed to receive oil delivered over the pipeline and to transship it onto modern sea vessels.
The loading in Kozmino is performed at two berths receiving ships with the deadweight ranging from 80 to 150 thou tonnes. Tankers are loaded with ESPO-grade Russian crude then head for Asia-Pacific markets.
30.4 million tonnes were exported via Kozmino Port in 2018; this year, 32.7 million tonnes of crude will be exported. In 2020, oil shipment is expected at the level of 34 million tonnes as per the requests of oil companies.
The measures taken in 2017 to increase the tank farm capacity, as well as dredging works, opened the vista to increase the oil transshipment capacity at the port to 36 MTPA.
Overall since the launch of the port’s operations in 2009 till the end of October 2019, about 245.2 million tonnes of crude had been exported.
The ESPO-2 pipeline system is made using cutting-edge achievements in the design, construction and operation of oil pipelines, offering high reliability and minimum impact on the environment.
The corridor’s considerable length and its rough route running through rock, sandstone, swamps, taiga, Arctic permafrost, regions of seismic intensity, a significant number of water barriers and low temperature zones, called for special technologies to be utilized.
Extra durable materials, highly reliable in operation, as well as advanced automation, telemetry, computer and communication technologies were used. As part of the project implementation, the Company replaced the motors of pump equipment involved in oil transportation, increased the external power supply capacity at all facilities and improved the unified control system. Import substitution technologies were a big part of the process. Drag reducing agents produced at Transneft Synthesis plant in Tatarstan, which has been commissioned this year, are used to bring the ESPO-2 PS to its planned capacity.
The commissioning of the ESPO PS and stepped-up increase of the oil pipeline capacity are important milestones in the development of Russia’s fuel and energy sector. The implementation of Transneft’s strategic project enabled diversification of the oil flows, boosting the crude export volumes.