Algeria and China have signed an energy cooperation accord.
The agreement, signed on Wednesday during the visit by Chinese President
Hu Jintao, called for cooperation on crude oil and natural gas. The two
countries agreed to exchange research and technology and developing trade in
the energy sector.
Over the last three years, Beijing has sought to increase its sources of
energy in the Middle East amid a 30 percent increase in oil imports to
China. Algeria, which produces more than 1 million barrels of oil a day, is
a key oil exporter to China.
China wants to win contracts for the development of oil and gas reserves
in Algeria. Beijing is already a leading developer of oil reserves in Sudan.
In 2002, China's Sinopec launched a $525 million project to develop the
Zarzaitine oil field in Algeria's Sahara Desert. In July 2003, China
National Petroleum Corporation signed a contract $350 million to import oil
from Algeria. At the same time, China National Oil and Gas Exploration and
Development Co. has won a contract to construct in an oil refinery near