The China Petrochemical Corp. is buying into Ohio's potentially lucrative Utica shale.
The state-owned energy company, known as Sinopec Group, is buying a 33 percent stake in five projects developed by Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. for $900 million.
The Beijing-based company (it is the second largest oil company in China) will also provide as much as $1.6 billion to cover Devon's drilling costs over the next three years.
The deal covers emerging Devon Energy projects covering 1.2 million acres in Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma. Louisiana and Wyoming-Colorado.
That pact is expected to fund 125 new wells this year, Devon Energy said.
The company holds state permits to drill in Medina and Ashland counties.
The China-Devon Energy deal closes a run of big drilling pacts between U.S. and foreign companies.
Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., the biggest player in Ohio, has a $2.32 billion agreement with the French company, Total SA. It purchased a 25 percent stake in 619,000 acres in east-central Ohio held by Chesapeake and Texas-based EnerVest Ltd.
It marked the seventh time that Chesapeake has brought in outside investors to help defray leasing costs and provide needed drilling funds.
In late 2011, Spain's Repsol YDF SA agreed to a $1 billion pact with SandRidge Energy to jointly develop oil fields in Kansas and Oklahoma.
In December, Sinopec had bought Canada's Daylight Energy Ltd. for $2.18 billion.
Chinese companies are very interested in partnerships so that China can develop the technology to tap into its own shale reserves for natural gas and oil.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.