By Collin Eaton
China is looking to the West – and especially to Texas – as it seeks to unlock its vast shale formations in hopes of launching an American-style energy revolution.
Facing stubborn rock and high costs, Chinese oil companies are giving U.S. firms a bigger stake in exchange for the tools and technology of hydraulic fracturing, which helped turn American production around and gave the nation new status as an energy power.
Many of those tools are made in Texas, or nearby.
They include cocktails of sand, water and chemicals, and the high-pressure pumps that blast those payloads underground to fracture shale formations and release oil and gas.
While hydraulic fracturing has engendered environmental opposition and even some local bans in the United States, the Chinese government is eager to reduce the country’s thick air pollution. It hopes the nation’s shale might provide enough cleaner-burning natural gas to replace coal in power plants.