China’s Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., the world’s largest coal mining company, is making a $90 million investment to drill for natural gas in Greene County.

Officials with Energy Corporation of America and China Shenhua Energy Co. subsidiary Shenhua America Holdings Corp. announced a 50/50 joint venture to develop 25 natural gas wells in Greene County over the next 18 months.

The companies provided few other details about the drilling plan.

Founded in 1963, Denver-based ECA actively pursues the exploration, extraction, production and transportation of natural gas and oil, both in the United States and around the world.

Shenhua is a Chinese state-owned enterprise and the largest coal company in the world.

ECA Chief Executive Officer John Mork said in a statement that Shenhua will contribute the first $90 million towards drilling the wells and ECA will be the operator of the properties. Any remaining capital expenditures will be split evenly between the two companies.

“It is only fitting for these operations to take place in Greene County. This area of Appalachia has been at the center of ECA’s Marcellus development, as well as a hotbed of Marcellus development. We have an outstanding track record there, an excellent reputation, respect from local community members and leaders, and extensive experience working in the Marcellus. And we are experts in shale gas development,” Mort said.

“We are very pleased to be working with Shenhua on this joint venture and this is only the beginning of what, I hope, will be a long, mutually beneficial working relationship.”

According to ECA’s website, it began operations on the East Coast in the Appalachian Basin, where it has been active for more than 45 years. It owns more than 1 million acres from New York to Tennessee, and operates more than 4,600 wells and 5,000 miles of pipeline.

ECA has more than 10,000 drilling locations, with more than 15 trillion cubic feet of potential resource and more than 400 billion cubic feet of proved reserves.

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