Royal Dutch Shell is partnering with Chinese companies to enter a joint bid on oil fields in Iraq, Reuters reports. China was the first country to successfully bid on a major oil deal in post-Saddam Iraq:
"We indeed have discussions about bidding...and Chinese companies for certain are part of the bidding partnerships," Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer told reporters while in Beijing. He did not give the names of the Chinese firms or the makeup of any partnership.
By joining Shell, China would make its second major foray into Iraq after state oil group CNPC's $3 billion project to develop the al-Ahdab field, Iraq's first major oil deal with a foreign firm since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The Anglo-Dutch oil major has said it wants to expand its presence in the vast fuel retail and refining businesses in China, currently dominated by state-run Chinese giants that are keen to boost oil reserves overseas.
Meanwhile, Shell announced that the company is delaying alternative energy projects in China due to the slump in oil prices worldwide. From the Wall Street Journal:
Lim Haw-Kuang told reporters at a briefing in Beijing that because of the economic downturn Shell decided to postpone a joint venture Shenhua Group, China's top coal producer and parent of China Shenhua Energy Co., to turn coal into liquid fuel. Shell had conducted a feasibility study with Shenhua, China's biggest coal producer, to build a coal-to-liquid plant in the country's western Ningxia Autonomous Region.