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PetroChina says open to closer ties with BP: report

world Updated: Jul 12, 2010 10:44 IST

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Chinese oil giant PetroChina has said it would "welcome" closer ties with BP as the British energy group battles to contain the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, a report said on Monday.

Mao Zefeng, head of investor relations at PetroChina, told The Financial Times that the company's first reaction to BP's problems in the Gulf of Mexico was to see how it could "help BP to quickly fix the problem".

"We contacted them to see if there is anything we can help with in terms of engineering or technical help," Mao said.

The official declined to discuss possible financial assistance, saying: "We have no comment on market rumours. But if there was some opportunity to work more closely together, we would welcome that."

Mao and other officials at PetroChina were not immediately available to comment on the report.

Chinese energy companies have this year invested billions of dollars on overseas acquisitions, including a deal by China's top refiner Sinopec in April to acquire a stake in a Canadian oil sands project for 4.65 billion dollars.

PetroChina which is listed in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai said in May that it would invest 60 billion dollars abroad over the next decade in order to secure much-needed resources to fuel China's red-hot economy.

BP acquired a stake in PetroChina when it went public in 2000. In 2004, it sold those shares, which at the time accounted for a two percent equity stake, according to statements from the two companies.

The two firms have a joint venture to operate petrol stations in the southern province of Guangdong.

The Financial Times said PetroChina was unlikely to make a full bid for BP due to political considerations but could invest in further joint ventures.