Chinese investors eyeing U.S. shale?

July 9, 2010 at 11:02 AM

BEIJING, July 9 (UPI) -- U.S. natural gas explorer Chesapeake Energy is exploring a deal with Chinese partners to take a stake in their Texas portfolio of shale gas, officials said.

Marcus Rowland, the chief financial officer at Chesapeake Energy Corp., is in Beijing to discuss a deal for Chinese companies to take a 20-percent stake in Eagle Ford shale in Texas, The Wall Street Journal reports.

China is looking to expand its domestic exploitation of unconventional gas reserves like the natural gas locked in shale deposits in the eastern and southern United States.

Energy magnate T. Boone Pickens in 2009 said abundant gas reserves in the United States made the country the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas" and Beijing is keen to duplicate those result, the Journal adds.

China National Petroleum Corp. has been looking for overseas deals in shale and other unconventional gas deposits, and in June Chesapeake offloaded nearly $2 billion in stocks to Asian corporations.

Rowland, the Journal reported, said the sale was meant to secure more recognition in Asian markets. He did not specify which Asian companies he was interested in inviting to the Eagle Ford shale play, however.

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