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Russia to build Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline in summer

  MOSCOW, Jan. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia will start building the Siberia-Pacificoil pipeline this summer.

   "We will finish all coordinating work in April and in summer will begin the practical work to implement this project," Putin said in the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk, quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency.

   "Eastern Siberia has enormous potential and there are simply colossal prospects there," but this project will not be effective without developing the oil and natural gas deposits in eastern Siberia, said Putin.

   The Russian government decided in 2004 to build the Siberia-Pacific pipeline in stages. Its length will span about 4,000 km, most of it underground. The pipeline is designed to shipup to 80 million tons of oil a year with the use of railway capacities.

   The first stage of the project is to build an oil pipeline from the town of Taishet in Siberia's Irkutsk region to Skovorodino in the Amur region. It envisions an oil terminal on the shore of Perevoznaya Bay on the Pacific Coast.

   Putin said the construction of the first segment of the pipeline should be completed in 2008.

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