A Chinese worker shows a bottle of crude oil sampled from the oil pipe at the terminal of the China-Russia oil pipeline in Daqing city. Photo: AFP

China’s imports of crude oil from Russia could double from the opening of a new Russian oil pipeline that reportedly went operational on Monday.

Xinhua says that the second line of a Russian oil pipeline considered part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative is up and running and could eventually boost Chinese oil imports from Russia to 300 million barrels from 100 million barrels per year.

“The project is intended to deepen energy cooperation between China and Russia and serve the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative,” Xinhua said.

UPI, in picking up the story, says the initiative is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s efforts to integrate the Chinese economy with European countries. Construction on the 585-mile pipeline’s second leg began in 2018 and parallels an existing network that runs through China’s Inner Mongolia region.