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Experts: China have an eye to African, South American oil
Updated: 2004-02-29 08:50

"Take our technologies and capital to Africa and South America and exploit oil there so as to have diverse oil supply and avert the risk brought about by concentrated oil imports ."

This is the suggestion strongly proposed by Tan Zhuzhou, chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association, on February 25 when the decision-making process of the strategy for China's overseas energy is underway.

This is echoed by the petro-chemical experts advisory team from Shanghai Zhonghao-Sichao Consultation & Strategies Institute in their report.

In the light of the volatile Middle East situation and China-Russia oil pipeline overshadowed with uncertainty, domestic energy experts have come to consensus that highlight should be given to Africa and South America in China's overseas exploitation for oil from 2004.

" Oil-rich countries in Africa and South America have developed friendly relationship with China and the trade and economic exchanges between China and these nations are expanding. Oil rich nations in these regions are generally less developed and some of them are suffering from long-term sanctions by the US. Their oil industry is poor. As they have a strong incentive to export oil for forex to alleviate poverty, they generally offer favorable terms for their oil export trade. So this gives China possibilities of spotting new or big oil suppliers. In addition, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has had successful experience in Sudan." This was put forward and verified by Han Wenke, an energy expert, in a research report of the Micro-Research Institute under the former National Planning Commission.

Oil giants with their debuts in Africa and South America at the beginning of the year seem to sing in harmony with oil experts.

In the early February, (CNPC), which puts overseas expansion as its top mission for 2004, quietly cast its eyes on Africa and signed oil agreements with Algiers and Egypt. That coincided with the contracts between Sinopec, which has long had a big stake in the Middle East for its overseas oil strategy, and a French oil company. In addition, China will import oil from Gabon.

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