BP today announced a deal with China National Oil Corporation to supply up to 1.5m tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over a 20-year period starting from 2019.
The agreement between the two countries was signed in London, with BP's Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley commenting that he hoped the deal would open other doors in terms of global relations.
“This is a significant deal for BP and China but it also marks a step up in global connectivity in the gas market,” he said.
“This is important for all countries and regions looking at the diversity of energy supply and energy security - it gives BP greater flexibility to respond to the changing energy demands from Europe, Asia and other regions.”
The deal also shines a light on China's wider ambition to improve air quality. Earlier this year, Beijing pledged to spend £76bn on improving the city's air quality following rising levels of PM2.5 particles in the atmosphere, which are known to penetrate the respiratory tract and potentially cause health problems.
It is thought that BP will supply the gas to China using its own LNG fleet and chartered ships delivering gas to a number of terminals in China.
A full contract is expected to be finalised in the middle of this year.