A multi-billion dollar contract has been signed between China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Australia’s BG Group.

Under the deal, CNOOC will buy 3.6 million tonnes of natural gas per year for the next 20 years in a contract said to be worth $73bn, according to the BBC.

A preliminary deal was agreed between the two companies last year.

Deals with Argentine Oil and Bridas Corporation were signed by CNOOC this month.

Increased consumer demand and a rapidly expanding economy are fuelling China’s needs to secure oil and gas.