Russia Considers Building Oil Refinery, Storage in Philippines - Ambassador

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Russian Ambassador to the Phillipines said on Tuesday, April 24, that Russia is laying the infrastructure to become a major oil supplier to Asian countries and is considering proposals to build an oil refinery and storage facilities in the Philippines to serve Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asian countries have expressed interest in Russia's plans to become an important energy provider in the region and Moscow should carefully plan how it could assume that crucial role, Ambassador Vitaly Vorobiev told foreign correspondents.

"The countries of Southeast Asia ... they're waiting for further explanation of Russian intentions," Vorobiev said, quoted by the Associated Press. "There should be some kind of concept how to position Russia in this respect. We didn't pay much attention to this area and we started to change our mind-set only in 1990s," he said.

Russia would be interested not only in "buy and sell operations" but could invest in oil refineries and storage.

Many energy-hungry Asian economies have long been dependent on Middle Eastern oil, but fears of supply disruptions due to sporadic conflicts in the volatile region have prodded countries like the Philippines to turn to possible alternative sources like Russia.

An ambitious project, involving the construction of an oil pipeline from East Siberia to Russia's Pacific coast, could bring larger volumes of oil - possibly at cheaper prices - to Asian countries, Vorobiev said.

Backed by the Kremlin, the 2,550-mile pipeline could be completed in three to four years, he said. -Source:

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