The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government-controlled Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has signed on Wednesday a framework agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to expand collaboration, said UAE state news agency WAM.
Signed by Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, and CEO of ADNOC, and Wang Yilin, CNPC Chairman, the agreement involves various areas of potential collaboration like offshore opportunities and sour gas development projects.
"It covers discussions between the two companies on possible CNPC participation in the Lower Zakum, Umm Shaif and Nasr concession areas, and the Bab, Bu Hasa, Ghasha and Hail sour gas development projects, as well as other related projects," Al Jaber said.
The Zakum oilfield, offshore Abu Dhabi, is the country's largest maritime oil field and the fourth largest such field in the world. Some 90 percent of the UAE's "black gold" is located in Abu Dhabi which harbors 7 percent of the world's known oil reserves.
"In support of the 2030 smart growth strategy, we are focusing on creating the greatest value from our partnerships to capitalize on our oil and gas reserves and maximize the returns from our offshore assets," Al Jaber said.
He added ADNOC was keen to work with partners who can share technology and capital, enable market access. "Equally, we want partners who can deploy world-class engineering solutions for our mutual benefit, ultimately enabling us to drive a more profitable upstream business and strong returns to Abu Dhabi and the UAE."
In February, ADNOC signed another agreement with CNPC, awarding it an 8-percent interest in Abu Dhabi's onshore oil concession, operated by ADNOC Onshore.
The agreement, which marked the first such in the history of UAE-China diplomatic relations which were established in 1984, has a term of 40 years.
"This framework agreement marks a new stage in CNPC's partnership with Abu Dhabi and ADNOC. We look forward to continuing the discussions which have already taken place and making progress on strengthening our relationship," Wang noted.
In 2016, China remained as the UAE's top trade partner, WAM said in a report on Aug. 8, 2017, quoting statistics from the UAE Ministry of Economy.
The total China-UAE trade amounted to 520.6 billion dirham (141.74 billion U.S. dollars) during the 2014-2016 period.