Reuters cited Rosneft head Igor Sechin as saying that the company will ship 9.1 million tons a year of crude oil from 2020 via the Pacific port of Kozmino for the plant.

The project between Rosneft and CNPC, the Tianjin refinery is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2019.

"We are talking about deposits that will be a source for gas supplies to the China market. This is a very smart and valuable proposal that can become a basis for compromise," Sechin added.

The Kremlin-controlled company, which due to determine the start date of the gas supply, is planning to triple its oil sales from the roughly 300,000bpd shipped last year to China.