China’s state-owned energy giant Sinopec has entered into a joint venture with the Swiss-based oil and natural gas company Weatherford International. The joint venture is believed to be the largest of this kind in China with an estimated registered capital of more than $50 million.
According to the company, the joint entity aims to marry Weatherford’s technological and management know-how with Sinopec’s ability to expand its upstream business, including in the country’s nascent shale gas sector. The JV operation will cover technical services to oil and gas drilling and well completion, as well as the manufacturing of tools.
China is estimated to hold the world’s largest shale oil and gas resources, although the lack of infrastructure, dense population, difficult geology and scarcity of water make them difficult to explore. The new Sinopec / Waetherford joint venture will focus on tapping the nation’s vast shale resources, as well as cover operations overseas.
Earlier this month four Chinese companies; CALRH, CNPC, SDIC, and Sinochem Corporation announced that they are to start joint drilling for shale gas by June 2014.
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