Iran, China set to expand ties in oil, gas sector

August 8, 2010

BEIJING -- Iran's oil minister met Chinese vice premier in Beijing on Friday and agreed on enhancing relations between the two countries, especially in the oil and gas sector.

Massoud Mirkazemi and Li Keqiang expressed satisfaction with the present level of trade, economic and cultural ties between the two nations and voiced their readiness to further broaden cooperation in the oil and gas sector, IRINN reported.
Mirkazemi said the Islamic Republic has strategic oil supplies, and the second largest gas reserves in the world.
“With over a century experience in the oil industry, (Iran) is prepared to deliver secure energy to the region, especially to the People’s Republic of China, and this matter will lead to stable and strong relation between the two countries,” he added.
Li Keqiang told the visiting Iranian oil minister that Beijing would maintain co-operation with Tehran on existing projects.
“Iran is an important trade partner of China’s in western Asia and north Africa and one of the country’s main oil suppliers. Bilateral economic and trade co-operation has achieved fruitful results,” state television paraphrased Mr. Li as telling Massoud Mirkazemi.
China is willing to work hard with Iran, continue to push mutual political trust, and maintain communication, dialogue and co-ordination on important international issues, to maintain regional and global peace, stability and prosperity,” Mr Li added.
Mirkazemi arrived in Beijing on Thursday seeking new investments in Iran's energy sector, including funding for new refineries, according to the Iranian oil ministry's news agency Shana.
In recent years Beijing has emerged as Iran's main economic partner, filling the gaps in the country's energy sector left by Western firms forced out by international sanctions.
China backed the fourth set of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear ambitions, but Beijing has consistently urged world powers to resolve the crisis diplomatically.
Iran is a major supplier of crude oil to China, the world's second biggest consumer of oil after the U.S.
In the first half of 2010, Iran held its place as China’s third biggest supplier of crude with shipments of 9m tons of oil, putting it behind Saudi Arabia and Angola, according to Chinese customs data