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Russia’s top crude oil producer, Rosneft’s Chief Executive Igor Sechin met Wu Xinxiong, the director of the Chinese National Energy Administration to devise ways of boosting energy ties with China’s state-owned giants Sinopec and the China National Petroleum Corporation.
“The sides said they were satisfied with the level of cooperation, marking a common intention to develop and expand partnership,” said a Rosneft statement on Wednesday.
Sechin and Xinxiong are laying the groundwork for Putin’s strategic visit to China next week, in which the Russian President and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will oversee the signing of an extensive package of agreements.
“A number of important documents are being prepared for the visit, covering trade, economic, energy and humanitarian areas,” said an official statement from the Kremlin on Tuesday.
Sino-Russian energy ties are expected to get a massive boost, in the wake of Moscow’s current standoff with the EU, its traditional energy partner, over the Ukraine crisis.
China is the largest market for Russian gas in the Asia-Pacific region.
In October last year, Rosneft and China’s national oil giant CNPC signed a memorandum on establishing a joint venture for upstream developments in East Siberia, with Rosneft holding 51 per cent and CNPC the remaining 49 per cent.
The joint venture will develop the Srednebotuobinsk field, with Rosneft’s Taas Yuriakh unit holding the license for the field’s development. The Russian oil major has also reached an agreement with Sinopec to supply 10 million tons of oil per year during a 10-year period.
In February, Sechin said Rosneft could strike a deal with its Chinese partners to establish a joint venture on extracting oil in Russia, including on the continental shelf.
Russia and China could announce the finalizing of the long-awaited deal on exporting up to 60 billion cubic meters of gas per year via the eastern route to China during Putin’s trip next week.
TBP and Agencies