Pipeline Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean and Baikal lake, Russia


The Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean oil pipeline (ESPO pipeline, Russian: Нефтепровод "Восточная Сибирь - Тихий океан" (ВСТО)) is a pipeline system for exporting Russian crude oil to the Asia-Pacific markets (Japan, China and Korea). The pipeline is built and operated by Russian pipeline company Transneft. The 4,857-kilometre (3,018 mi) pipeline is being laid by the route of Taishet-Kazachinskoye-Skovorodino-Kozmino. On 29 May 2003, Russia and China signed an agreement on construction of the pipeline. Construction of the pipeline started in April 2006. The first stage of the pipeline was completely laid in May 2009 and the whole first stage was reversed in December 2009.

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Basic Data
NamePipeline Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean and Baikal lake, Russia
CountryRussian Federation
Site Eastern Siberia
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)480,000.00
Level of Investment (in USD)7,000,000,000.00
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date29/05/2003
End Date26/04/2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesTransneft from Russian Federation
Relevant government actorsRussian Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, RosPrirodNadzor
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersGreenpeace, UNESCO, WWF, Interregional Environmental NGO "Zeleny Krest", Baikal "Environmental Wave", Institute of Environmental and legal problems "Ecojuris"
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Oil spills
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Other socio-economic impacts
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseEnvironmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
Development of AlternativesAn alternative project of the pipeline (north of the lake) was proposed by environmental organizations. In accordance with the project, in case of accident oil can not get into the water of Lake Baikal.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Numerous protests and petitions attracted attention of the president of Russia and he ruled on the need for a change in the first design of the pipeline as proposed by environmental organizations.
Sources and Materials

Water Code - 11th article which established the Water Protection Zone of Lake Baikal


Digest on the history of the oil pipeline project
[click to view]

Oil and gas industry news - investment in the project
[click to view]

General information on the project
[click to view]

Shifting pipeline from Lake Baikal
[click to view]

Other Documents

Pipeline projects: primary project near the lake and approved project
[click to view]

Greenpeace campaign against the pipeline project. February 1, 2006 On the posters:

left: don't mix oil and Baikal water

right: the pipeline will kill the lake
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorNatalia Finogenova, TU Berlin
Last update04/02/2015