UK oil major BP and China Cosco Shipping — the world’s biggest shipping company — have signed a fresh deal to expand their strategic cooperation into new areas.

The two groups got together in Shanghai on 5 December to discuss their long-standing collaboration on energy shipping, offshore equipment manufacturing and bunker and lubricants supply.

The idea is to grow these and move into other businesses as well.

The companies said they will “further capitalise on the business advantages of both parties, enhance synergies, and achieve complementary advantages and common development”.

There will be more shipping of BP’s Castrol marine lubricants, as well as other hydrocarbons.

Offshore construction work will be expanded, and the groups intend to team up on the supply of methanol as a fuel and work together in the offshore wind supply chain.

William Lin, BP’s executive vice president, and Lin Ji, his counterpart at Cosco, witnessed the signing.

Cosco said the two sides reviewed the current state of cooperation and looked forward to the future direction of collaboration.

The Chinese state group has been contacted for further details.

BP has been operating in China since the early 1970s and is one of the leading foreign-invested companies in the domestic energy industry.

The massive Cosco fleet comprises 1,394 vessels with a capacity of 113.82m dwt.

The container ship capacity is 3.02m teu, ranking third in the world.

Cosco leads the way in bulkers, with 437 vessels, and tankers, operating 228 ships.

The company is also the biggest in the general and specialised cargo sector, having 175 vessels.