GE in shale gas discussions with Chinese oil companies


US conglomerate's Chengdu center working on China-specific solutions

GE Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of the US giant General Electric Co, said it is holding discussions with China's top three oil and gas companies about possible cooperation on the development of the country's shale gas industry.

Liu Bo, general manager of GE Oil & Gas Greater China, said the global technology and solutions provider is working on a market evaluation of the sector, which should take around 2 to 3 months to complete.

"The company will then decide on its position and direction, but it is too early to project anything more at present," he said.

The three Chinese companies involved are China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

GE's annual revenues from the unconventional natural gas are worth about $1 billion - mainly in North America - and involve 40 products and services, according to company figures.

The company established an innovation center in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in June, with shale gas research and development now considered a key priority at the site, said Liu.

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