By John S. McClenahen Through its subsidiary ExxonMobil (Guangdong) Petroleum & Petrochemical Co. Ltd., Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to significantly expand its presence in China and strengthen its ties with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), the largest petroleum and petrochemical company in China. ExxonMobil and Sinopec will evaluate as much as a 150,000 barrel/day expansion of the refinery at the Guangzhou Petrochemical Complex in Guangdong province -- and will study creation of a world-class petrochemical complex at the site. The two companies also will evaluate creating a fuels marketing joint venture in Guangdong province that could result in the establishment of 500 service stations within three years of the venture's launch. "This significant alliance has grown from our long-standing, cooperative relationship with Sinopec," says Lee Raymond, ExxonMobil's chairman. "We believe that this partnership will benefit ExxonMobil's shareholders by providing attractive investment returns that are commensurate with world-class operations in a growing market."