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Can BP Finally Trigger The Chinese Shale Boom?

Chinese President Xi Jingping wrapped up a productive week in the United Kingdom this week, inking major deals that tie the two countries closer together. The trip made more news than Xi’s visit to the U.S. a few weeks earlier, where he wasn’t treated with nearly as much deference.

The red carpet rollout produced a series of major trade deals, but one of the most important developments of the trip was an announcement of deeper cooperation between BP (NYSE: BP) and China’s state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC). The agreement called for strategic cooperation in “shale gas exploration and production in the Sichuan Basin and future fuel retailing ventures in China and other international partnerships.” British Prime Minister and China’s Xi Jingping were on hand for the signing, a deal that will form the backbone of a “global comprehensive strategic partnership” between the two countries in the 21st century.

BP and CNPC

BP and CNPC already cooperate on a crucial oil project in Iraq. The Rumaila field, Iraq’s largest, produces 1.3 million barrels per day (mb/d). The successful cooperation between the two oil companies in Iraq convinced them that they should expand their partnership, BP’s CEO Bob Dudley said in a statement.

In addition to the shale partnership, BP also secured a deal to supply state-owned China Huadian Corp. with 1 million tonnes of LNG per year for the next two decades,…

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