State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has agreed to join forces with Norwegian firm Equinor on energy sustainability projects, including oil and gas exploration, renewables, and carbon capture technology.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the companies will work together to tap into unconventional gas resources in China and co-develop global oil and gas ventures.
Equinor executive vice-president Al Cook said at a bilateral energy seminar: “China’s domestic cooperation is mainly concentrated on unconventional resources or tight gas on land. International cooperation is more likely to be on conventional oil and gas production. Companies like CNPC have a huge opportunity to link global gas supply to domestic gas demand.”
Speaking at the same seminar, CNPC foreign cooperation administration department deputy director Zhang Xiangning said that Equinor’s tight gas technology could be used to boost CNPC revenues at Chinese oil and gas sites such as Changqing in the Ordos basin. The field currently produces around 472,000 barrels of oil per day, and also provides China with almost one-quarter of its domestic natural gas production.
Zhang said: “We hope Equinor and CNPC could deepen our exchanges in tight gas as well as carbon capture utilisation and storage technologies.”
The MoU on energy sustainability was signed during King Harald V of Norway’s state visit to Beijing on Monday, by invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Communications between Norway and China have improved since diplomatic relations soured in 2010 when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo – a jailed Chinese dissident. In August 2017, the two nations resumed discussions over a potential free trade agreement.
China recently took over from South Korea as the second largest importer of liquefied natural gas. China imported an average of five billion cubic feet (bcf) per day of LNG in 2017, while the world’s top importer, Japan, imported 11 bcf per day, according to data provided by the US Energy Information Administration.