BP and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) announced an expanded global partnership covering potential shale gas exploration and production in the Sichuan Basin and future fuel retailing ventures in China and other international partnerships.

“The success of our Rumaila oil field project in Iraq has convinced us that there are more opportunities for cooperation between CNPC and BP,” said Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive. “This strategic partnership not only strengthens the relationship between the UK and China’s largest energy companies, it further cements the relationship between China and the UK as global business partners.”

The agreement was signed during President of The People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK in the presence of President Xi and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.  It is expected to add several billion dollars in future trade to BP’s  business with China.

“CNPC and BP have enjoyed a longstanding, cooperative relationship involving projects both in and outside of China,” said Wang Yilin, CNPC chairman. “This framework agreement on strategic cooperation will further facilitate our two companies’ joint efforts in exploring opportunities on a global scale, be conducive to enhancing cooperation, and take our strategic partnership to a new height.”

In addition to these agreements to explore opportunities within China, BP and CNPC have agreed to explore oil and LNG trading opportunities globally, work together on carbon emissions trading, and share knowledge around technology and management practices.

“BP has been committed to doing business in China for more than 40 years and we’re pleased to expand a partnership that supports continued growth of the Chinese energy sector,” said Edward Yang, BP China president. “We expect China’s energy production to rise 47 percent and its consumption to grow 60 percent by 2035, making it the world’s largest energy importer. Through this agreement and others, BP is committed to being one of China’s preferred energy partners now and in the future.”