Chinese President Hu Jintao (file photo) (CTK)
23 January 2006 -- China and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement to expand energy cooperation during a visit by Saudi King Abdullah in Beijing.
No details of the agreement reached between King Abdullah and Chinese President Hu Jintao were immediately available.
The pact comes amid efforts by China -- the world's fastest-growing major economy -- to secure access to overseas oil and gas deposits.
Saudi oil reserves are the largest in the world, and the country is the world's leading oil producer and exporter.
Caspian Energy Special
For a complete archive of RFE/RL's coverage of energy issues in the Caspian Sea region and Russia, click here.
HOW MUCH OIL? The U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated that the Caspian could hold between 17 billion and 33 billion barrels of proven oil. ("Proven reserves" are defined by energy experts to be 90 percent probable.) Other experts estimate the Caspian could hold "possible reserves" of up to 233 billion barrels of oil. ("Possible reserves" are considered to be 50 percent probable.) By comparison, Saudi Arabia has 261 billion barrels of oil and the United States 23 billion...(more)