The United States is encouraging China to limit its spending with Iran in an attempt to put pressure on Iran to “curb its nuclear ambitions.” Right now, Iran is the biggest supplier of oil for China. They purchase a reportedly 550,000 barrels of Iran crude oil per day. If China complies with the U.S. requests, then China’s national oil companies will get opportunities to invest in oil and natural gas exploration and production in America. “The greater the stakes that China’s NOCs have in the United States, the thinking goes, the greater the chance they will think twice about doing business in Iran.” Sinopec has emerged as one of the cities to cooperate with the U.S. to reduce its oil business with Iran and turned down large volumes of discounted Iran crude oil.
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The U.S. government is using the carrot and stick method to get China on its side to sanction Iran. The U.S. has offered China investment opportunities in its oil and natural gas and production, if they stop their oil dealings with Iran. Sinopec is looking to expand in the United States, so they have stepped up in support of the U.S.