PetroChina to rope in Shell, Hess for shale oil exploration

China's state-owned oil and gas producer and exporter is in talks with Royal Dutch Shell and Hess Corp to explore shale oil in Santanghu Basin in China's northwestern Xinjiang region, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), its parent company said in a report published in a company-owned newspaper.

PetroChina is beefing up technology and expertise through alliances to boost capability in shale oil and gas exploration as it increasingly looks to increase production of oil and gas.

"The main goal of the cooperation is to introduce advanced technology, production and management methods in unconventional oil and gas exploration and development, ... and to accumulate technology and experience," CNPC's company newspaper China Petroleum Daily reported.

The parties are currently g business terms on block divisions and work targets, the report said, citing an official with Tuha Oilfield, a PetroChina unit which is responsible for developing the Santanghu Basin.

The foreign firms will bear the costs of exploration and share output with PetroChina in accordance with the proportion of investment during development, the report said.

PetroChina has been hard put to increase production capabilities with low oil reserves at home and obsolete technology.