B&R Forum fuels energy deals
CNPC reaches agreements worth $20b at landmark Beijing meeting
China has agreed a batch of energy deals worth $20 billion with economies participating in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which ended in Beijing on Monday, according to the head of China National Petroleum Corp, the country's biggest oil and gas company.
Deals signed during the forum included Saudi Arabian Oil Co taking a stake in CNPC's Yunnan refinery, a $4 billion agreement for a natural gas processing plant in Azerbaijan with State Oil Co of Azerbaijan, gas storage and gas-fired power projects with Russia's Gazprom PJSC, and a geothermal project in Kenya, it said.
"CNPC will deepen cooperation with economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative in the oil and gas sector, consistently promoting energy and infrastructure cooperation," said Wang Yilin, CNPC chairman, during the Belt and Road Roundtable for oil and gas cooperation in Beijing on Tuesday.
Oil majors from Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Myanmar and China participated in the roundtable.
Zhao Huirong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said energy cooperation is the highlight of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the energy sector offers promising returns in overseas cooperation.
CNPC currently has more than 50 joint projects underway in 19 countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia and Singapore.
It said that its equity oil and gas production exceeded 59 million metric tons in 2016.
It is also looking forward to oil and gas cooperation with the United States, as it is seeking to import more crude oil and natural gas from the country and is considering participating in US LNG exports.
As China, the world's biggest energy consumer, looks to further diversify its crude supply, the US is likely to be one of these sources due to its rich oil and gas resources.
The CNPC chairman said the company should speed up cooperation with resource countries to develop assets in order to meet China's growing need for oil and gas.
China overtook the US as the world's biggest oil importer in October, and it surpassed Canada as the top buyer of US crude in February.
Li Li, energy research director at ICIS China, a consulting company that provides analysis of China's energy market, said US natural gas is reasonably priced, and it is mutually beneficial to carry out oil and gas cooperation.