BP is in talks with Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec on a joint venture
BP is in talks with Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec on a joint venture.
BP is refusing to comment publicly on the talks, but a spokesman admitted "you don't have to be a rocket scientist" to realize China is a vital market. Well-placed sources confirmed Lord Browne had put forward various proposals to China's biggest producer of refined oil products and state officials about a tie-up.
Critical to any future deal is the attitude of the Beijing government, which still controls 80% of Sinopec through its parent group, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation. The remaining 20% is listed in New York, Shanghai and Hong Kong. BP took a 2% stake at Sinopec's partial privatization in 2000 but sold out last year to take profits.