China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed an MOU today with Russia’s Rosneft to form a joint venture for exploration and production in Rosneft’s eastern Siberian fields. CNPC will own 49 percent of the venture, which will take over fields formerly run by Rosneft’s Taas Yuriakh unit. Output there is likely to reach 6 million metric tons in 2016, from about 1 million tons this year, according to Bloomberg.
The deal follows months of Chinese investment in Russian and Kazakh oilfields. In September, CNPC agreed to pay $5 billion for a stake in Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan oil project. In June, the company signed a 25-year $270 billion oil supply deal with Russia’s Rosneft. The agreements have helped CNPC solidify China’s role as Central and North Asia’s dominant economic player, according to some political analysts.