China, US To Cooperate On Strategic Oil Reserves
BEIJING, July 11 (Reuters) - China and the United States have signed a preliminary agreement to cooperate on strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), China's National Energy Administration (NEA) said, marking the first such effort between the world's top two oil consumers.
Under the agreement, the U.S. Energy Department and NEA will share information on technical, management and policy issues related to oil stockpiles, the Energy Department said in a statement on Friday.
The pact was forged during a visit to Beijing this week by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz with NEA head Wu Xinxiong, the NEA said on its website late on Thursday.
The agencies will hold annual technical meetings held alternately in each of the two countries.
"These activities will allow the two countries to understand each other's systems and decision-making, which will facilitate effective response to disruptions in the global petroleum supply," the Energy Department said.
Ensuring a sufficient emergency oil stockpile means more to China after it surpassed the United States late last year as the world's largest net oil importer. Overseas purchases help meet around 57 percent of China's total crude oil requirement.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), the energy watchdog for developed nations, has long pushed for China to be more transparent in sharing its stockpile data, even though China is not an IEA member.
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