Russian energy firm Gazprom has initiated started gas supply testing from the Kovyktinskoye (Kovykta) gas condensate field in east Siberia to the China-bound Power of Siberia pipeline, reported Reuters.

The operational testing on the Kovykta field marks a step ahead for Russia to boost gas exports to China, reported barrons.com via Agence France Presse (AFP ).

Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller was quoted by AFP as saying in a Telegram statement: “Putting the Kovykta into service is an important step in the implementation of the ‘Power of Siberia’ project and the creation of new centres of gas production in the east of the country.”

Gazprom gas firm plans to launch the Kovykta field in the second half of December 2022, reported AFP.

Last month, Gazprom was quoted Interfax as saying: “Kovyktinskoye is unique; it is the largest field in Eastern Siberia with design recoverable gas reserves of 1.8 trillion cubic metres and gas condensate reserves of 65.7 million tonnes.

“With the launch of Kovyktinskoye, the resource base in eastern Russia will be substantially expanded for both domestic and export gas supplies.”

The Power of Siberia 1 pipeline started gas supplies from the Canada field in eastern Siberia to China at the end of 2019.

Production from the Kovykta field will also be fed to the Power of Siberia pipeline, which has a capacity of 38.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) per annum.

In 2020, Gazprom exported 4.1bcm of gas to China and 11bcm in 2021. The supply is anticipated to reach 22bcm next year.

Earlier this month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said the Power of Siberia pipeline project would reach full capacity in 2027.