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Shell in talks with Chinese firms

BEIJING, April 14 – Royal Dutch Shell is in talks with Chinese companies to jointly bid for rights to develop an oil field in Iraq, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant\’s chief executive officer said on Tuesday.

"We are… in the process of forming partnerships for a series of bids and Chinese companies are a part of that," Jeroen van der Veer told reporters when asked to comment on reports about developing an oil field in Kirkuk, Iraq.

"We have conducted discussions with Chinese companies."

Dow Jones Newswires reported Monday that Shell was negotiating with China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and China Petrochemical Corp., the nation\’s top two state-owned oil firms, on a joint bid to develop an oil field in Kirkuk.

Shell had offered CNPC a 15 percent stake in the consortium, but the Chinese firm wanted around 20 percent.

In return, Shell hopes to get support from CNPC for a production sharing contract for a gas field in China\’s southwestern province of Sichuan, Dow Jones said, citing an unnamed source.

Speaking at a press conference here, van der Veer declined to disclose which Chinese companies Shell were in talks with or give any other details.

A CNPC press officer, who declined to be named, said he was unaware of the matter when contacted by AFP Tuesday.

China Petrochemical Corp. was not immediately available to comment.

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