Shell, Unocal sign offshore Chinese drilling deal

Royal Dutch Shell Group and the Unocal Corp will sign an agreement in Beijing, valued at about US$1 billion, with two China companies - CNOOC and Sinopec - to drill off Shanghai in order to tap the world's second-largest energy market.

According to a CNOOC spokesperson, the gas mined from the offshore region will be piped to provinces and cities in east China and will include the cities of Shanghai and Zhejiang.

This agreement would give the Anglo-Dutch Shell a second supply of gas to sell to China's prosperous eastern coastal cities. Last July, it agreed to take 15% of PetroChina Co.'s US$5.2 billion pipeline to send the fuel from Xinjiang province in the northwest of the country.