The Houston firm announced it has partnered up with a Chinese oil company to form a joint venture that will provide fracturing services in the restive Xinjiang region in northwest China, near the Tarim Basin, one of China’s biggest unconventional resource plays.
Xinjiang HDTD Oilfield Services Co., the joint venture company, is Halliburton’s first in China. Halliburton’s Chinese partner, STP, owns 51 percent of the firm, making it Chinese-controlled.
China’s oil industry is dominated by state-owned firms, which the government considers vital to its national interests. So far, state-owned oil companies haven’t developed much of the country’s unconventional resources, lacking the technology to fracture dense tight oil and shale gas reservoirs.
In combination with horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing has opened up once-unreachable U.S. oil and gas reservoirs in Texas, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and elsewhere. Blooming shale plays have drawn foreign investors from China and elsewhere, who have snapped up acreage and oil and gas producers in an effort to learn how to use the technology behind the shale energy surge.
Halliburton said the Tarim Basin could have 50 million tons of oil equivalent in proved reserves by 2025, and the greater Xinjiang province might have 100 million tons in proved reserves, about a third of China’s reserves.
The deal was originally announced in China in April, a year after its rival Schlumberger announced a similar joint venture to provide fracturing services.
In addition to hydraulic fracturing, the joint venture will also do design and analysis work on wells, as well as data acquisition, and pumping and chemical services in the Xingiang region.
“Over the next decade, there will be great opportunities from the parallel development of conventional and unconventional resources in China,” said David Zeng, Halliburton’s vice president for China, said in a press statement.