BP and Kuwait Petroleum International today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to investigate and develop opportunities for future joint investment in China and elsewhere in Asia.
BP and KPI, the international refining and marketing arm of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, have agreed to co-operate in areas such as supply, refining, distribution and marketing to China and neighbouring countries.
“We’ve been in China since the early 1970s and in that time, working closely with Chinese partners, we have built a substantial presence,” said BP chief executive Lord Browne. “However, we believe this is just the beginning. We have learned about the importance of mutual advantage and enduring relationships in building a quality business. BP is deeply committed to growing our business in China and to helping China address energy security issues.”
BP said Chinese oil demand has risen by around 1.6 million barrels of oil a day in the last two years, with almost 90 per cent of that increase supplied by imports, and it expects demand to continue rising over the next decade.
“This also marks a significant new direction in the historic relationship between BP and Kuwait. We hope that this will bring many opportunities for new ways of investing to build on BP’s position in China and elsewhere in Asia,” Browne said.
BP is already one of the largest energy investors in China, with investments totalling some $3 billion, including stakes in petrochemical, retail, natural gas import and distribution, and other joint ventures.