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Sat, Jan 22, 2005 - Page 12 News List

Canada and China boost links in oil and minerals


Canada and China yesterday signed agreements aimed at boosting cooperation in oil and mineral exploration, as Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Trade Minister Jim Peterson wrapped up an official visit.

China's diplomacy has been increasingly colored by a need to secure oil and other resources from all over the world, including Canada, as its economic rise fuels a voracious appetite for energy and raw materials.

Reflecting China's interest in securing supply from oil-rich Alberta, Calgary's Norwest Corp signed a memorandum of understanding with Sinopec to provide geological consulting on resource investment in western Canada.

Sinopec and PetroChina have been vying for a deal with Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc, which is seeking Chinese buyers for crude to be shipped in a planned 1,200km pipeline over the Rockies to the west coast from Alberta.

A1 Petroleum Ltd, based in neighboring Saskatchewan province, signed letters of intent with three Chinese companies to develop oil and natural gas resources, with the aim of transporting potential output through Enbridge's pipeline.

Toronto's Qamg Corp signed a five-year sales agreement with Shenzhen Jinao Investment Development Co to supply crude oil to China.

Oil consumption in China will continue rising this year as the energy-hungry giant seeks to power its fast-paced economy but at a slower pace than previous years, industry executives said yesterday.

Consumption of crude oil will jump to 320 million tonnes, an almost 12 percent rise over the 288 tonnes used last year, Chen Geng, general manager of China National Petroleum Corp, said in a statement on the company's Web site.

As a whole, the Chinese oil industry is forecasting an overall slowing in growth after demand rose 14 percent last year, Chen said.

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