Shell signs first China shale gas deal

Global oil major Royal Dutch Shell said it signed a production sharing contract with China National Petroleum Corporation to develop a shale gas block in China, the first deal of its kind in the country.

China is in the very early stages of tapping its potentially large shale gas resources and the government wants to identify the right technology to unlock them in the next few years, aiming for a leap in shale production by 2020.

"China has huge shale gas potential and we are committed to making a contribution in bringing that potential into reality," Shell chief executive Peter Voser said in the statement.