Shell signs shale gas production agreement with CNPC

Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest energy company, today signed a production sharing agreement with China's state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to explore, develop and produce shale gas in China.

The agreement is for the Fushun-Yongchuan block in the Sichuan Basin that covers approximately 3,500km.

London-based Shell will contribute its advanced technology, operational expertise and global experience in the project to jointly develop the shale gas resources with CNPC.

''We are delighted about this new milestone in our strategic cooperation with CNPC,'' said Peter Voser, CEO of Shell.  ''China has huge shale gas potential and we are committed to making a contribution in bringing that potential into reality.''

This deal is the latest in a series of tie-ups between Chinese oil majors and overseas oil companies as China looks to gain the expertise in shale gas technology.

Shale gas (gas locked in sedimentary rocks) has become an important source of energy in a few countries which have been able to commercially exploit this resource.