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Iran’s New Oil Minister Discusses Oil Developments With China’s CNPC

Iran’s new Oil Minister, Javad Owji, met on Thursday with a top official from the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in Tehran to discuss cooperation and expansion of bilateral relations.

Owji met today with Libin Zhang, the deputy head of CNPC’s Middle Eastern division, to talk about boosting cooperation, Iranian media report.

CNPC has developed the North Azadegan oilfield in Iran, which is located along the border with Iraq.

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The new Iranian president and administration continue to work on close ties with China, which were forged during the previous administration. China is Iran’s biggest trade partner and one of the very few countries still importing some crude oil from Iran despite the U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s oil exports and oil industry.

China has always said it opposes the “unilateral” U.S. sanctions against oil producers and continues to buy crude, especially from Iran. Iran’s oil sales to China remain the key remaining revenue stream for the Islamic Republic. China is Iran’s top crude oil customer and actually the only customer that currently dares skirt existing American sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

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In March this year, China and Iran officially stated they would boost their energy and political cooperation as part of a 25-year strategic partnership agreement. Iran and China signed the strategic partnership deal to expand relations in areas such as energy, infrastructure, industry, and technology.

The two countries also pledged to boost cooperation in fossil fuels and alternative energy, “security of demand and supply as well as transfer and transportation of fossil fuels and the Chinese side shall consider financing and investing in the up –and-downstream projects of the energy industries in Iran and the Iranian side shall provide the necessary facilitations and support in this respect,” Iran said.

The new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who took office last month, also vowed to boost cooperation between Iran and China.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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