PetroChina will go it alone on the 4,000km West-East US$20 billion natural gas pipeline project, ending a preliminary agreement to work with Royal Dutch/Shell and ExxonMobil after two years of negotiations failed to produce a long-term investment and profit-sharing agreement. Shell and Exxon confirmed the break-up. According to a South China Morning Post report, the oil companies came to blows over distribution of gas reserves and the tenor of the joint venture contract, which impacted Exxon's and Shell's rate of return. Analysts suggested PetroChina felt it now had the accumulated expertise to carry on alone.
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