China concludes oil, gas agreements with Algeria

Monday, February 9, 2004

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 Adrar.

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