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China, India Sign Memoranda on Energy Cooperation
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China and India signed five memoranda on energy cooperation Thursday. Future exchanges will be cover "a full spectrum", said the Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar in Beijing on Thursday evening.
Aiyar is visiting China as a guest of Ma Kai, minister in charge of the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Accompanying Aiyar are representatives from major Indian petroleum firms.
According to the NDRC, the Indian delegation met with major China oil players on Thursday, including China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petrochemical Corporation (SINOPEC), and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).
Aiyar said China and India have agreed to strengthen the exchange of information when bidding for oil resources in a third country in order to realize mutual benefit.
China and India last month won a joint bid to buy Petro-Canada's 37 percent stake in Syrian oilfields, marking their first cooperation in bidding for overseas oil resources.
"Unbridled rivalry between Indian and Chinese companies works only to the advantage of the seller," Aiyar said.
Aiyar said that the memoranda, of which four are commercial, cover a comprehensive range of areas, including upstream exploration and refining in the oil sector, the laying of national and transnational oil and gas pipelines, frontier and cutting-edge research and development, as well as a joint energy efficiency program.
The two countries will also assess the potential for working together on bio-fuels, such as vegetable oils blended with diesel, and ethanol blended with gasoline.
A working group will be established soon, Aiyar said. The group will meet at least once a year to keep track of cooperation.
2006 has been dubbed the "Year of Friendship between China and India".

(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2006)

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