China and Saudi Arabia sign bilateral energy agreement
Updated: 2006-01-23 21:41
China and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to expand energy cooperation
during a visit by Saudi King Abdullah to the world's fastest growing major oil
Saudi King Abdullah (L) walks beside Chinese
President Hu Jintao (R) during a review of the honour guard welcoming
ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. China and Saudi
Arabia signed an agreement to expand energy cooperation during a visit by
King Abdullah to the world's fastest growing major oil market.
The agreement on "cooperation in oil, natural gas and minerals" was signed
between Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi and Ma Kai, minister of China's State
Development and Reform Commission on Monday.
It followed a meeting between King Abdullah and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Neither side immediately provided any details on the agreement, but Saudi
Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal indicated before the signing ceremony it
would allow for more specific joint projects in the future.
"Projects are not under the auspices of the agreement. It sets the framework
for such investment but investment will have to come from the companies," Prince
"There is very extensive contacts between Saudi and Chinese (companies)," he
said. "There may be agreements (in the future)."
Energy analysts said the agreement was the first between the two governments
on overall cooperation in the field of energy.
The two countries had previously signed specific deals in areas such as
building oil refineries and drilling.
Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter and China is the second
largest oil consumer. China imported more than 20 million tons of oil from Saudi
Arabia last year, comprising around 14 percent of its total oil