The Cuba Oil Company (Cubapetroleo) signed a production contract with the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (SINOPEC) to work in areas around the Cuban island believed to contain oil deposits, Cuba’s Ministry of Basic Industry reported on Monday.
The deal was reached during an early Sunday meeting attended by Li Lianfu, China’s ambassador to Cuba, Cuba’s Basic Industry Minister Yadira Garcia and Minister of Government Ricardo Cabrisas, according to the report.
“The contract confirms ascending political and commercial relations between the two countries,” it said.
Economic and trade cooperation between the two countries have developed quickly, particularly after a two-day visit to Cuba by Chinese President Hu Jintao in November 2004, during which a number of bilateral cooperation agreements were signed.
In late December, Cuban President Fidel Castro announced the discovery of a crude oil deposit off the coast of Santa Cruz del Norte, east of Havana, containing up to 100 million barrels.
Cuba currently produces 75,000 barrels of oil daily, about half of what it needs.