(EnergyAsia, June 20 2014, Friday) — US-based FTS International (FTSI) said it has signed a 15-year joint venture agreement with state-owned Sinopec Group to supply its oilfield services and hydraulic stimulation expertise to China, initially focusing on shale-rich Sichuan province.

The China-incorporated SinoFTS Petroleum Services Ltd, 55% owned by Sinopec and 45% by FTSI, will serve Sinopec and other upstream companies developing shale and uncoventional hydrocarbon resources in the country that are said to be the world’s largest.

SinoFTS will use new equipment that FTSI will custom-manufacture in the US, featuring the latest innovations and adapted to the specific requirements of the Chinese environment.

FTSI said it will draw on the experience of its vertically integrated US shale operations to collaborate with Sinopec to develop China’s onshore pressure pumping industry.

The Beijing-based joint venture firm is expected to start work in Sichuan next year, and deploy pressure pumping fleets in other basins throughout China.

FTSI CEO Greg Lanham said: “China has vast untapped shale gas resources, and we’re eager to play a role in their development. Just as FTSI was born out of the emergence of the U.S. unconventional energy industry, we expect that SinoFTS will enhance the development of China’s domestic energy renaissance.

“Sinopec will be a key strategic partner for us, and we see a long, successful venture ahead, working together in a country poised to develop as the world’s largest unconventional oil and gas producer.”

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, FTS International is one of the largest well completion service companies in North America, with 1.6 million hydraulic horsepower deployed in major shale basins throughout the US. It provides well completion services, including pressure pumping, wireline, reservoir optimisation technologies and water management.

Exploration and production companies use FTSI’s products, services and expertise to enhance recovery rates from oil and gas wells, primarily in unconventional plays.