Chinese oil producer seeks global growth

Chinese oil producer seeks global growth
The Associated Press, January 2, 2008

China Petrochemical Corp. will attempt to become a global energy competitor through more acquisitions foreign oil and gas assets, China's No. 2 oil producer, also known as Sinopec, said Wednesday.

"The company's strategic goal over the next 10-15 years is to develop Sinopec into an internationally competitive transnational energy and chemical company," chairman Su Shulin said in a statement posted on Sinopec's Web site.

Sinopec also will also ramp up exploration in China, according to Su's statement. Su made the comments during a meeting of company executives late last month, according to the Web site.

China's demand for oil and gas has soared amid an economic boom. Government oil companies are investing billions of dollars to secure access to foreign supplies. Su's statement gave no indication where Sinopec would pursue new oil and gas projects.

China has become the second-biggest oil consumer after the United States. China met its own needs for decades from domestic fields but demand has outstripped that supply, and the country relied on imports for almost half of its energy needs last year.

Chinese producers have signed exploration and production deals in Africa, Latin America and Central Asia. Beijing's strategy has strained diplomatic relations with Washington, which has criticized its ties with isolated governments such as Iran and Sudan.

Sinopec is China's biggest refiner and its second-biggest oil producer behind China National Petroleum Corp..

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