The world’s largest oil company has agreed to buy dredging machinery and equipment from the country that built its $300bn (£187bn) Pegasus pipeline project, an agreement it said would provide the UK with the capacity to dig up and ship its own deep-water oil and gas reserves.
BP said it would be buying equipment from Chinese company Dongfeng PetroChina, a joint venture that has been developing deep-sea oil and natural gas drilling equipment.
BP, the world’s biggest oil company, said it was the first to bid on the equipment and would be seeking bids from other countries in the pipeline consortium.
The deal was announced on Tuesday by the UK government.
BP had already bought the equipment from Dongfen PetroChina and the company said it had agreed to repay £10bn to BP for its part in the Pegasus project.
The government said it hoped to raise the £10 billion from private investors to fund its own infrastructure and public sector investment in the future.
BP has said that it expects to spend more than £100bn on the Pegasus pipeline and that the new deal would be part of that programme.
The firm said the deal was a significant step in the company’s efforts to deliver better infrastructure for our industry and ensure a strong and sustainable future for our customers.
“We are pleased that the UK Government has recognised the significant contribution the UK has made to our country’s energy security and is committing to supporting this important project in the years to come,” said Richard Anderson, chief executive of BP.
The Pegasus project was started in 2014 and has been one of the world\’s most ambitious and successful energy projects.
The UK is the biggest buyer of oil and other fossil fuels from China.
BP and its Chinese partner, China National Petroleum Corp, have said they have signed a deal for more than $50bn in contracts to develop oil and minerals from the Gulf of Mexico.
The company is also looking to develop the world first offshore deep-drilling platform for deep-ocean oil exploration.
The pipeline project is being carried out by a consortium of BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Royal Dutch Energy.
BP is one of several oil and energy companies in the UK that have been working with the Chinese government to develop deep-underwater exploration and exploitation.