Fort Worth-based FTS International, one of the nation's largest hydraulic fracturing service providers, said Tuesday it signed a 15-year joint venture agreement with Sinopec Group to apply its expertise in China. The venture, SinoFTS Petroleum Services Ltd., will supply fracturing services to Sinopec and other producers. Ownership will be 55 percent Sinopec and 45 percent FTS. State-owned Sinopec (China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. is based in Beijing and one of the world's largest companies, with about $460 billion in revenues in 2013.
FTS has been pursuing a Chinese venture for more than two years. It previously struck deals in the Middle East and in Brazil. According to Tuesday's announcement, "SinoFTS will use new equipment that FTSI will custom-manufacture in the United States." The company, formerly called Frac Tech, has a large machine shop in southeast Fort Worth and a big manufacturing and maintenance facility in Aledo. It was formed in Cisco in 2000 and moved its headquarters to Fort Worth in 2011. Today it is one of the top four fracking companies in the United States.
CEO Greg Lanham, in a prepared statement, said "China has vast untapped shale gas resources, and we're eager to play a role in their development." He called Sinopec "a key strategic partner for us" in country "poised to develop as the world's largest unconventional oil and gas producer." Operations are expected to begin in 2015.
-- Jim Fuquay