On May 16, the Belt and Road Roundtable for Oil and Gas Cooperation was held at CNPC headquarters in Beijing. More than 20 officials and executives from the National Energy Administration, the International Energy Agency, national oil companies of resource countries, and renowned Chinese oil and gas enterprises and financial institutions compared notes on the building of a new model and new mechanism of Belt and Road oil and gas cooperation, shared visions for deepening Belt and Road oil and gas cooperation, and reached a broad consensus.

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In his keynote speech, CNPC Chairman Wang Yilin pointed out that deepening international oil and gas cooperation is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative. In the face of new historical opportunities, CNPC is looking forward to working more closely with domestic and foreign counterparts and partners to further expand cooperation in the oil and gas sector, jointly respond to major changes in the energy industry, and build an open, win-win and mutually beneficial community of shared interests for oil and gas cooperation, so as to provide the world with more high-quality, clean energy and make greater contributions to promoting the sustainable and healthy development of human society.

Wang Yilin put forward five suggestions:

First, to promote and achieve policy coordination and strengthen the integration of policies, standards and mechanisms for oil and gas cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. Efforts should be made to establish mechanisms for regular exchanges and communication among partners within the region, strengthen discussions on oil and gas cooperation policies and related fiscal and taxation policies as well as standards for oilfield services and equipment manufacturing, and achieve collaborative integration of major policies, key technologies and industrial standards. The legal basis for trade and investment cooperation should be improved, the conclusion of bilateral and multilateral investment protection agreements should be facilitated, the customs clearance process should be simplified, personnel exchanges should be encouraged, and investment and trade liberalization and facilitation promoted, so as to create a good environment for oil and gas cooperation.

Second, to promote and achieve facilities connectivity and establish the oil and gas connectivity system for the region of Belt and Road. Further efforts should be made to maintain the safe, efficient and smooth operation of transnational oil and gas pipelines such as Central Asia-China Oil and Gas Pipelines, Russia-China Oil and Gas Pipelines and Myanmar-China Oil and Gas Pipelines and jointly develop potential exploration blocks and mature oil and gas projects along the pipelines and in surrounding areas. We should promote and achieve rapid development of the natural gas industry, build a gas connectivity system for the region and bring benefits to countries along the Belt and Road route.

Third, to promote and achieve unimpeded trade and establish open and inclusive trading platforms and capacity cooperation platforms. We should keep expanding the size of oil and gas trade, work together to promote and improve the building of the Asian oil and gas trading center, and enhance the discourse power of the region in the global oil and gas market. We should optimize and improve the pricing and settlement mechanism for oil and gas trade between China and Russia, between China and Central Asia, and between China and Myanmar, to ensure the balance of interests among relevant parties. Concerted efforts should be made to the building of national petrochemical industrial parks in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and South Asia, so as to expand the terminal consumer markets by leveraging their respective advantages. Through joint venture and cooperation, oilfield services should be made more international and professional, a number of oil equipment manufacturing bases should be built and service support networks improved.

Fourth, to promote and achieve financial integration and accelerate the integration of energy and finance. An investment mechanism for large oil and gas cooperation projects through which investors in different countries can participate in should be built and multilateral financial support platforms for oil and gas cooperation projects along the Belt and Road route established. In addition, efforts should be made to deepen cooperation with domestic and foreign financial institutions and various types of capital, and promote pragmatic and effective cooperation among countries within the region in terms of prevention major risks, monetary price stability, investment and financing platforms and credit rating.

Fifth, to promote and achieve people-to-people bonds and promote localization and sustainable development of oil and gas cooperation along the Belt and Road route. We should jointly focus on the training of local personnel within the region, keep increasing the proportion of local employees, and promote local employment. Personnel exchanges and cultural exchanges between partners should be strengthened. Concerted efforts should be made to promote the implementation of the “plan for training of backbone talents for projects”. We should also establish special funds for social welfare undertakings, actively fulfill social responsibilities, and bring benefits to local communities and the people.

Meanwhile, we should promote information sharing in terms of security and anti-terrorism, market trends, and public opinion, build effective regional risk control systems, especially promote the building of relevant bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms for pipeline security protection and emergency coordination, and guarantee the long-term safe and stable operation of oil and gas cooperation projects and cross-border oil and gas pipelines.

Subsequently, the participants had an in-depth exchange of views on a broad range of issues and reached an extensive consensus. Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom Management Committee, expressed the willingness of Gazprom to make its own contributions to the achievement of China’s goal for gas market development, believing natural gas as the basis for the future energy system and the natural gas pipeline as a symbol of future strategic cooperation and development. Sauat Mynbayev, Chairman of KazMunaiGas, pointed out that considering the great practical significance of the integration of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Kazakhstan’s “Pathway to the Future” economic policy, it is hoped that oil and gas cooperation between China and Kazakhstan will be constantly expanded within the framework of the Belt and Road. Alisher Sultanov, Chairman of Uzbekneftegaz, called for the construction of transnational oil and gas trunks to meet energy demand along the pipelines and enhanced oil and gas cooperation for the benefit of the local people.

In his concluding remarks, CNPC President Zhang Jianhua, said that the participants had seen eye to eye on “responsibility, compliance, efficiency, standards, risks and cooperation”. It is believed that as long as countries firmly establish the concept of “mutual benefit and common development” and the basic principle of “building the Belt and Road through consultation to meet the interests of all”, substantial achievements will be made in oil and gas cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative in the future.