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ConocoPhillips, Sinopec target China shale gas

25th January 2013

ConocoPhillips, Sinopec join forces to develop shale gas in China

ConocoPhillips, Sinopec target China shale gas
The Sichuan and Tarim basins are estimated to hold some 1,275 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas

US-based energy company ConocoPhillips has hashed a deal with one of China’s top oil companies, Sinopec (CNPC) to jointly study shale gas development in the country, where hydraulic fracturing technology from the US is in high demand.

China’s Sinopec Group in December announced ConocoPhillips would conduct exploration research and develop shale gas production in the rich Sichuan Basin, as part of a two-year deal. The US major is the third to target the shale deposits of the world’s top energy consumer, following Shell and Chevron.

The Sichuan Basin is thought to hold immense amounts of recoverable shale gas. The Sichuan and Tarim basins alone hold an estimated 1,275 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The development of unconventional resources is a top priority for Beijing, as it seeks to increase its reliance on cleaner fuel.

China currently lacks the technology and expertise to replicate the US’ shale revolution. If it had the necessary fracking equipment, China would quickly overtake North America in terms of shale gas. Its reserves are greater than those of the US and Canada combined, experts believe.