MOSCOW, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The head of Russia's top crude producer Rosneft, Igor Sechin, has started talks in China over the possibility of increasing oil supplies to the world's largest energy consumer, the Russian company said on Sunday.
Last week, industry sources told Reuters Rosneft was seeking to borrow up to $30 billion from Chinese state firm CNPC in exchange for possibly doubling oil supplies, making Beijing the largest consumer of Russian oil and further diverting supplies away from Europe.
Rosneft has said it was not in talks about obtaining a loan from China.
The company said on Sunday that Sechin, a powerful ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, met Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan in Beijing.
'The sides have discussed a wide range of issues about increasing oil supplies to the People's Republic of China, as well as participation of the companies in mutual work in upstream and downstream sectors, both in Russia and China,' Rosneft said in a statement.
Russia, the world's largest oil producer and the second largest exporter after Saudi Arabia, is already supplying China with 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil via a pipeline.
A doubling of deliveries to China would swell Russia's exports to Asia to more than a fifth of its overall exports.
Rosneft also said that Sechin offered to study a possible partnership with China in developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) after the state-controlled company and U.S. oil major ExxonMobil agreed last week to consider a project to build an LNG plant on the Pacific island of Sakhalin.
In the next two days of his visit, Sechin will meet officials from CNPC and Sinopec, Rosneft said.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Jason Bush) Keywords: ROSNEFT CHINA/
(firstname.lastname@example.org)(+7 495 775 12 42)(Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.