CHENGDU, China, July 18 (UPI) -- Russian technicians arrived in China to visit shale natural gas fields under development by the China National Petroleum Corp., Gazprom said.
Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom, met in China with CNPC's Vice President Wang Dongjin to discuss partnerships in the energy sector. The Russian natural gas company said its technicians were in Sichuan province to visit shale gas production at the Changning field.
"As part of experience sharing, the parties agreed to assign a group of Gazprom's technical experts to the shale gas fields being currently developed by CNPC," Gazprom said in a statement.
China plans a shale auction this year. The country hasn't produced shale gas on a commercial scale because of complex geology and a lack of domestic experience. Foreign companies are barred from taking part in the auction directly.
Gazprom and CNPC signed a strategic cooperation agreement in 2004. Russian officials said trade between the countries could reach $200 billion within 10 years.
Beijing aims to produce as much as 230 billion cubic feet of shale gas per year by 2015.