China is ready to import 27m tons of Russian crude this year, which would allow Moscow overtake Saudi Arabia as China’s biggest oil supplier, according to Transneft Vice-President, Sergey Andropov, RT reported.

The crude would reach Chine via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline, in which Russia began supplying China with crude in 2011 after Rosneft, Transneft and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) had signed contracts two years earlier.

According to the data provided by the energy ministry, Russia exported 26.68m tons of oil to China in 2015, a 17.5% increase compared with 2014. Transneft boosted oil exports to China in 2015 to 16m tons, up from 15.6m tons a year earlier. Rosneft said oil supplies under direct contracts with Chinese partners surged by 14% to 31.1m tons in 2015, the Russian News Agency TASS published the information.