FTS International, based in Ft. Worth, Texas, announced today that it has signed a 15-year joint venture agreement with Sinopec Group to bring its well stimulation capabilities and expertise to China.
Hydraulic fracturing is recognized as one of the keys to unlocking production in shales, but China has not yet developed a large onshore pressure pumping industry.
The new joint venture company will be headquartered in Beijing, incorporated in China as SinoFTS Petroleum Services Ltd., and controlled by state-owned Sinopec (55%), with FTSI taking a minority share (45%). FTSI says that SinoFTS is the first oilfield services collaboration of its kind between a non-Chinese well completion company and a Chinese national oil company.
FTSI says it will build new, customized equipment in the US for SinoFTS to use, "featuring the latest innovations and adapted to the specific requirements of the Chinese environment."
The new company will initially focus on the Sichuan basin, described as China’s most promising shale play, beginning operations in 2015. FTSI says that equipment will later be deployed to other basins.
FTSI Chief Executive Officer Greg Lanham described Sinopec as an "esteemed partner" and said his company is eager to play a role in developing China's vast untapped shale gas resources.
In North America, FTS International provides well completion services, including pressure pumping, wireline, reservoir optimization technologies, and water management. FTSI manufactures and assembles its own proprietary, high-pressure pumps, mobile pumping units and water purification systems. It has units capable of pumping 1.6 million hydraulic horsepower deployed in major US shale basins.
Map at right from US Energy Information Administration, "Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States, 2013."
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