In its bid for unconventional sources of energy, Sinopec Group and ExxonMobil plan to jointly assess shale-gas potential in the province of Sichuan. Sinopec Group (unit of China Petrochemical) and Exxon’s Sichuan subsidiary signed an agreement to survey the 3,643.59 sq km Wuzhishan area.Chinese shale may hold 1,275 trillion cubic feet of gas, or 12 times the country’s conventional natural gas deposits, as per the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As per this, China is estimated to be richer in shale gas resources than USA, and plans to explore new areas and seek drilling technology through partnerships and acquisitions. After spending 11 months to complete the country’s first shale well, China National Petroleum Corp. agreed to form a venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc to improve its drilling efficiency. Sinopec Group is actively seeking technology and capital from its potential foreign partners to develop domestic shale-gas resources.