China National Petroleum, Hess Sign Shale Agreement

China National Petroleum Corp., parent of the nation’s biggest oil producer, and New York-based Hess Corp. signed a cooperation agreement for a shale basin in the western Xinjiang region.

The accord covers the Malang Block of the Santanghu Basin, according to a statement posted yesterday by CNPC on its website. Terms weren’t disclosed. Jon Pepper, a spokesman for Hess, confirmed the agreement and declined to elaborate on it.

Hess and CNPC’s Hong Kong-listed PetroChina Co. unit earlier agreed to a joint study of potential oil and natural gas production from 200,000 acres in the Santanghu Basin, according to Hess’s Feb. 28 annual report.

CNPC President Liao Yongyuan met Hess Executive Vice President Gregory P. Hill on July 23 at a signing ceremony in Beijing, according to the statement. PetroChina Vice President Zhao Zhengzhang was present at the meeting, CNPC said.

Hess declined 1.1 percent to $72.63 at the close yesterday in New York. The shares have risen 37 percent this year.

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