• A CNPC billboard

A CNPC billboard (Photo : Getty Images)

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) will establish its Middle East headquarters in Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) to support its expansion plans in the UAE and wider Middle East.

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The deal was signed by Zhu Junfeng, CEO of CNPC Middle East and Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO of Jafza and senior vice president and managing director of DP World.

Zhu Junfeng said the headquarters would enable them to provide operational support throughout the Middle East and to grow their portfolio while increasing demand for their services.

He added that CNPC, China's largest integrated energy company, is one of the world's leader in energy and has become synonymous with innovation and excellence due to their knowledge of regional markets and the growth of their operations.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the chairman and CEO of DP World and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, noted that CNPC's headquarters in Dubai reinforces its role as a key player in the Middle East energy sector.

The new headquarters will be housed in a land area of 55,000 square meters with 10,000-square-meter allocated for office space. It will also have a warehouse facility for storing, maintaining and repairing oil and gas equipment.

The plan follows CNPC's agreement in February to acquire an 8 percent stake in the 40-year onshore oil concession of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for $1.77 billion.

CNPC chairman Wang Yilin, said that the deal would open up more opportunities for CNPC to participate in the UAE's energy sector.

JAFZA, which allows 100 percent foreign ownership, is UAE's flagship hub for trade and logistics for the Middle East and Africa and hosts over 850 oil, gas and petrochemical firms. It has a strategic proximity to air, sea and land routes and is backed DP World, which has 77 marine and inland terminals in 40 countries.