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U.S.-China cooperation important to world energy future: expert

By Chen Yu, Zhang Yongxing, Zhao Xiaoqing (Xinhua)

12:18, March 10, 2013

HOUSTON, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation between the United States and China is a very important part of the secure and stable energy future of the world, a U.S. energy expert said here Friday.

"It's important that relationship (between the United States and China) is being on a stable foundation, and cooperation in energy is a very important part of that," Daniel Yergin, an energy scholar and chairman of the CERAWeek energy conference, told Xinhua.

Despite talks over the conflicts or potential conflicts between the two countries, China and the United States, as two large energy importers, have common interests in a stable world market, he explained.

CERAWeek, an annual international meeting on energy issues, has brought together about 2,500 people worldwide this year to discuss the fundamental trends that change the world of energy.

According to Yergin, a big challenge for the world now is to meet the energy needs. He estimated that the global demand for energy might increase about 30 percent over the next couple of decades.

Therefore, he believed that international energy cooperation is essential to the future of the global energy market, and that technology sharing and innovation are part of that cooperation.

"The world faces big challenges in shaping the energy future for a growing world economy that might be two or three times bigger in a few decades than it is today," he said.

As for China, the country's energy industry has gone through great development in the past decades that mirrored the tremendous changes in its economy, said Yergin.

The increasing energy demand in China has brought about considerable opportunities for its energy industry, he said, noting that the fast developing energy sector prompts Chinese companies to play a bigger role both at home and in the world at large.

"The main challenges for them are to find the places to deploy their capital, skills and technologies and to seek their right partnerships," said Yergin.

The United States and China have a lot to do when it comes to energy cooperation, Yergin said, citing the possible bilateral cooperation in developing unconventional energies such as shale gas and tight oil.

"Cooperation in the existing energy industries and the development of energy research is what really shapes the future," Yergin said.

More than 50 delegates, representing a record of 10 Chinese enterprises, attended the five-day conference in the U.S. main industrial city, indicating that Chinese energy companies have a growing interest in going overseas.

The Chinese representatives voiced the hope to learn advanced technologies and management from their foreign counterparts and seek possible partnerships for sharing benefits.

"Collaboration between countries is essential to answering the challenge of meeting the world's growing energy needs," Li Fanrong, CEO of CNOOC, said in a keynote speech at the conference.

"We are open-minded to develop our global business based on partnerships and sharing risks and returns," he added.

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