Russian gas giant Gazpro, is expected to finalize a second contract for delivering gas to China in coming months.
“I hope that in the coming months the contract will be ready for signing,” RIA Novosti quoted Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying on Tuesday.
The new planned pipeline, known as the “Western route”, would cut through Russia’s Altai Republic to connect fields in western Siberia to northwest China.
It is expected to carry 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually. The volume may go up to 100 bcm a year.
Russia and China signed a $400-billion gas deal last year with exports via the Power of Siberia pipeline, also known as the “Eastern route”, whose construction is expected to be over in 2018.
In November, Russia and China inked a framework agreement for the second contract.
Gazprom committed to gas supply
Gazprom’s CEO Alexey Miller said recently that the gas giant will meet all its obligations with regard to supplying gas to China.
“The works at the Chayanda and the Power of Siberia are in full swing. All Gazprom’s obligations to start supplying gas to China will be fully met on time,” Miller said.
These remarks come as European governments have threatened to impose fresh sanctions on Russia should a newly-signed ceasefire deal for ending the crisis in eastern Ukraine fail.
Russia has, in the past few months, been hit by sanctions imposed the US and EU over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Moscow has categorically denied the allegation.
The fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine has taken a heavy toll on thousands of people since mid-April 2014.
Over 5,500 people have died and some 12,200 have been wounded in the conflict, the United Nations says. Around 1.5 million people have also been forced to leave their homes over the past months of turmoil.