A Chinese government-owned company has entered into an agreement with a private U.S. Marcellus Shale drilling firm to develop 25 wells in Greene County, Pa., over the next year and a half.
The corporation, a subsidiary of China’s Shenhua Energy Co., the world’s largest coal producer, is reportedly drilling locally to “learn how to tap into natural gas embedded in shale,” according to Fuel Fix.
Shenhua’s domestic drilling partner, Denver-based Energy Corp. of America, confirmed in a news release that the Chinese company will contribute the first $90 million toward drilling the wells, while ECA will be the operator of the properties.
Any remaining capital expenditures will be split evenly between the two companies, according to ECA.
ECA Chief Executive Officer John Mork said of the deal:
It is only fitting for these operations to take place in Greene County. This area of Appalachia has been at the center of ECA’s Marcellus development, as well as a hotbed of Marcellus development. We have an outstanding track record there, an excellent reputation, respect from local community members and leaders, and extensive experience working in the Marcellus. And – we are experts in shale gas development. We are very pleased to be working with Shenhua on this joint venture and this is only the beginning of what, I hope, will be a long, mutually-beneficial working relationship.
Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, a vocal Marcellus Shale drilling proponent who supported the recently overturned Act 13, represents Greene County but did not immediately return a message on his cell phone seeking more information.
ECA’s media relations spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon that no further information about the drilling plans were available, including where the wells will be located in Greene County.