Sino-Russian Gas and Oil Cooperation – Entering a New Era of Strategic Partnership?
This paper is an update on the book ‘Sino-Russian Oil and Gas Coooperation‘ by Keun-Wook Paik published by OUP in 2012. It aims to explain the importance and implications of strengthened Sino-Russian oil and gas cooperation; it also tries to analyse whether this level of cooperation could move into a strategic level. It reviews the changing characteristics of Sino-Russian oil and gas relations, from symbolic and scratching-the-surface levels during the 2000s, to the meaningful and substantial levels seen in the 2010s, based on the two major crude supply deals in 2013 and the two major gas deals in 2014. It explains the real capacity and the limits to Russia’s oil and gas exports to China and the main drivers of Russia’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy. It also explores China’s domestic gas supply capacity in the coming decades, and at elaborates on both the role of the WEP corridor development for pipeline gas imports from the Central Asian republics and Russia, and the potential of LNG supply to the coastal provinces. It covers price and financing factors, and the issue of multilateral gas cooperation in the north-east Asian region and the implications of Sino-Russian gas deals for future LNG projects.