China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a deal to set up its regional headquarters in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) of Dubai to oversee investments, oil services and trading in the Middle East.
The new headquarters covers 55,000 square metres and includes a 10,000 square metre multi-storey office and warehouse facility for storage, maintenance and report of oil and gas equipment, Jafza said in a statement.
All of state-owned CNPC's 16 companies operating in the region will have their offices at Jafza, Zhu Junfeng, chief executive of CNPC Middle East said in the statement.
These iinclude oil services unit China Petroleum Engineering and its more than 400 Dubai-based employees, as well as Chinaoil, a joint venture with Sinochem Group that has become a major force in physical and derivative trading in the region. Its main subsidiary is the publicly-listed PetroChina.
The announcement comes a few weeks after CNPC acquired an 8 percent stake in Abu Dhabi's giant onshore oil and gas project called Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations(ADCO).
“It will also support our expansion plans in the UAE and the Middle East following our acquisition… We will now be able to provide operational support throughout the Middle East with room to grow our portfolio while increasing demand for our services,” Junfeng said.
Apart from UAE, Beijing-headquartered CNPC invests heavily in Iraq and has recently stepped up oil and gas activities in Iran.