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Tue 19 Jan 2016 08:57 PM

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Saudi Aramco, China's Sinopec sign cooperation deal

State oil giant inks agreement on first days of visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Riyadh

Saudi Aramco, China's Sinopec sign cooperation deal
KSA energy

Saudi Arabia oil giant Saudi Aramco and China's Sinopec on Tuesday signed a framework agreement for strategic cooperation, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

The agency said the agreement was one of 14 agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between Saudi Arabia and China on the first day of a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Riyadh. Xi is also scheduled to visit Iran and Egypt on his Jan. 19-23 tour.

The report gave no further details.

Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer, had been in talks to acquire a stake in a China National Petroleum Corp refinery as well as retail assets, people familiar with the matter said last October - a deal that would help it sell more of its output to China amid growing competition.

The deal is estimated to be worth around $1-$1.5 billion, although final valuations, assets and stakes were subject to change, they said.

The Saudi state news agency also said Saudi Arabia and China signed a memorandum of understanding to build a high energy nuclear reactor that would use gas for cooling.

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