Chinese company Kerui is looking to register as a business in Crimea to make supplying equipment easier

China’s Kerui is set to deliver oil and gas equipment to Crimea, the company’s vice president, Wang Bin, told Tass during a Russian-Chinese business forum on Wednesday. Crimea and Russia have both struggled to continue exploring for oil and gas as Western sanctions cut them off from technology used in the exploration and production of oil, gas or mineral resources.

“We are a private company and we have been working in Russia since 1999,” said Bin. “We have been monitoring the situation in Crimea for around a year and are interested in supplies of oil and gas equipment there and also providing services on maintenance of equipment. We are already holding a dialogue with Crimea’s business circles. They say they definitely need our equipment.”

The company hopes to be entitled to a preferential regime in Russia to speed up the registration process in Crimea. “After that we will start exporting our equipment and then will consider the opportunities for investment cooperation,” Kerui’s vice president explained. If the preferential status is granted to Kerui, the company will be exempt from some tax, customs and social payments.

Russia Annexed Crimea for Black Sea Oil Reserves: Experts

Experts like Gilles Lericolais, the director of European and international affairs at France’s state oceanographic group, and Carol R. Saivets, a Eurasian expert in the Security Studies Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believe one of the reasons Russia annexed Crimea in the first place may have been the oil reserves in the Black Sea.

By absorbing Crimea, Russia added to its territorial boundaries in both the Black and Azov Seas. William B. F. Ryan, a marine geologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, said Russia’s takeover of Crimea gave it what are potentially “the best” of that body’s deep oil reserves.

Russia gained roughly 36,000 square miles to Russia’s existing holdings. The addition is more than three times the size of the Crimean landmass, or about the size of Maine, but it has been difficult for Russia to develop any new assets due to sanctions. Kerui’s move into Crimea could meet a demand for equipment to develop those resources.

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