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Rosneft courts Chinese petroleum firm

Oct. 24, 2008 at 12:38 PM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Russian oil firm Rosneft and the Chinese state-run petroleum company are close to an energy transportation agreement, officials said.

Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said Rosneft and the China National Petroleum Corp. were approaching the final details on the deal ahead of a visit to Moscow by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Russian daily newspaper Kommersant reported Friday.

"The companies will sign preliminary documents," the Russian minister said. "We expect the final parameters of the agreement to be agreed upon in the next month or month and a half."

Under a separate 2004 agreement, Rosneft ships around 62 million barrels of oil per year to China at a price pegged at $3 less than the market prices for Brent Crude.

Shmatko said the new CPNC deal may run for more than 15 years, making it the longest contract held by any Russian oil firm.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan arrives in Moscow Saturday, followed by Wen, who arrives Monday.

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