China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has concluded a supply deal with Petronas in Malaysia to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a terminal in Shanghai, the Financial Times reported, citing Fu Chengyu, chairman and chief executive of CNOOC, in Hamburg. Fu said the deal could set a regional pricing benchmark for the resource, but that depended on Petronas. "If they say it is a benchmark, it will be a benchmark," he said, but refused to comment on pricing terms. The Shanghai deal is the first LNG supply agreement signed by China since 2002 because rising global prices for the commodity have made deals uneconomic for a local market in which the gas price is fixed. Industry officials said that the CNOOC-Petronas deal was priced at about US$5-US$6 per million British thermal units, above the price paid for the contracts signed by CNOOC in 2002 with Australian and Indonesia suppliers. But the US$5-$6 price is well below market price for gas delivered into north Asia, which is in the range of US$9-US$11. The Shanghai terminal is scheduled to open in 2008.