Devon Energy Corp., an energy company with headquarters in Oklahoma, reached a shale deal with China Petroleum Corp., known as SINOPEC. The Chinese energy company agreed to purchase a 33 percent stake in five of Devon's exploratory projects and finance more than 100 wells with as much as $1.6 billion in investments.
The deal is for access to acreage in five shale natural gas plays in the U.S. Midwest, including the lucrative Utica shale deposit in Ohio.
John Richels, president and chief executive officer at Devon, said the SINOPEC deal could accelerate commercialization of the five shale plays at stake in the deal.
"We believe our strong acreage positions in these plays, our reputation as a quality operator and the uniqueness of the opportunity for exposure to five different plays in a single venture make this a compelling value proposition," he said in a statement.
Shale gas in the United States could redefine the country's energy sector. Environmental advocates, however, complain some of the chemicals used in the extraction process make the risk outweigh the benefits.