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Russia will build oil, gas links to add 25% reserve capacity

Russia plans to build oil and gas pipelines to supply more energy to Europe and Asia and protect them from accidents or disputes with countries the pipelines cross, an official at the Industry and Energy Ministry said.

Russia plans to supply about 20% of European oil demand, 5% of Asian and 1% of American by 2015, Sergei Mikhailov, the deputy director of the ministry's energy department, said at a conference sponsored by Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Houston, Texas, according to an e-mailed statement today. European supplies will increase while Russia starts large-scale supplies to Asian markets, Mikhailov said. Russia wants to add enough pipelines to ensure it has as much as 25% reserve capacity, he said. „Russia's oil and gas pipelines in their geography and function are like the circulatory system of a huge, living organism the economy of our country,” Mikhailov said. State-run OAO Transneft is running the country's oil pipelines at about 92% of capacity now, said Valery Nesterov, an oil and gas analyst at Troika Dialog in Moscow. Transneft and state-controlled OAO Gazprom, which owns the country's gas pipelines, are investing in more pipelines to Europe that skirt Belarus and Ukraine, both of which it has had price disputes with that briefly halted the flow of oil and gas. It's also starting to build links to tap growing Asian markets. (Bloomberg)