Saudi cabinet approves expansion of China energy ties

January 23, 2012 19:03

DUBAI - The Saudi cabinet on Monday approved efforts towards developing oil and gas cooperation with China, the state news agency SPA reported, after a visit by the Chinese prime minister to the world's top oil exporter as Iran tensions were rising.

"The cabinet mandated the oil negotiate with China over an amended protocol agreement to cooperate in oil, gas and mining," said a cabinet statement carried by SPA.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pressed Saudi Arabia to open its huge oil and gas resources to expanded Chinese investment, media reports said earlier this month against a backdrop of growing tension over Iran and worries over its crude exports to the Asian power.

The kingdom is China's biggest source of imported oil, and securing energy security was high on Wen's agenda during the visit to Riyadh, in part reflecting concerns about how nuclear tensions and sanctions could unsettle ties with Iran.

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