Iran, Saudi Arabia to supply more crude to China
China will receive more crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Iran starting next year, Beijing-based trading sources said on Monday.
This would help China to supply new refineries in the second-biggest consumer globally, the Fars News Agency reported.
Saudi Arabia plans to boost its sales to China by more than a third.
Saudi Arabia will sell China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) and PetroChina about 200,000 barrels per day. The amount is about 10 percent of China's total consumption of oil.
China's oil companies will also import 400,000 barrels a day from Iran next year, or triple the current imports.
Sinopec signed an accord with Iran recently to exploit the Yadavaran oil and gas field.
PetroChina's parent, China Petrochemical Corp., will increase daily crude purchase from Iran from 60,000 barrels to 160,000 barrels in the coming year.
Also, Chinese oil trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp. has struck a deal with the National Iranian Oil Co. to buy 1 million tons of fuel oil next year.
Syria, Iraq agree to rehabilitate pipeline
Syria and Iraq agreed on Monday to rehabilitate the Kirkuk-Banias oil pipeline, encouraging competent engineering companies to offer tenders for establishing tanks to exchange oil products in the border region of al-Yarubya, SANA reported.
Deputy Premier for Economic affairs Abdullah Dardari and his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih agreed that the deal would cover cooperation between Syria and Iraq in the fields of transport, oil, gas, banks, infrastructure, technology and communications.
The oil pipeline will transport crude oil from the Iraqi city of Kirkuk crossing Syrian lands into the coastal city of Banias on the Mediterranean, to be exported abroad.
The Syrian minister of interior and his Iraqi counterpart Jawad al-Boulani also agreed that the two sides need to have a security understanding between both countries.
The two sides underlined the importance of announcing establishment of a Syrian-Iraqi businessmen council during the next meetings of the committee due in February 2008 and make use of the rules of an agreement on protecting and encouraging investments between the two states.
Czech power plant seeks to acquire stake in MOL
Czech power plant CEZ (Czech Energy Plant) is looking to acquire a 7 percent share in Hungary's MOL before the end of the year, Nepszabadsag reported.
In exchange, CEZ would construct two power stations of significant market power in Hungary and in Slovakia.
CEZ's supervisory board could decide on Thursday whether or not to purchase 7 percent of MOL, Ladislav Kriz, spokesman for the electricity supply company, told journalists. A report by Prague daily Mlada Fronta Dnes, quoted by MTI, pointed out that the talks were still in progress.
A certain amount of uncertainty is surrounding the issue, which is confirmed by the news blackout at Mol and at CEZ's Hungarian subsidiary.
At the end of August, when Mol was vigorously defending itself against Austria's OMV, MOL and CEZ published a draft agreement through which CEZ could buy "at the most 10 percent" of MOL. According to their statement, they would jointly build two gas-fired power stations, one each for supplying MOL's two large refineries with power in Szazhalombatta and Pozsony (Bratislava).
Closing oil prices, Dec. 19, 3 p.m. London
Brent crude oil: $91.41
West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $90.90