US energy multinational ConocoPhillips (COP.NYSE) inked a deal with state-owned China Petrochemical (SNP.NYSE), known as Sinopec, to explore shale gas resources in the Sichuan Basin, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an online statement posted Tuesday by the Houston-based firm. Under the terms of the deal, which was signed last week, ConocoPhillips will drill two wells in a 3,900 square-kilometer area of the Qijiang section of southwestern Sichuan province, Sinopec said. It did not reveal the financial details of the deal. The agreement marked the entry of a third multinational oil producer into China’s shale-gas sector, adding its knowledge of extracting gas by unconventional methods to the nation’s attempts to expand its use of a different energy source. Beijing plans to increase the nation’s use of gas to 10% of the fuel used by 2020, up from less than 5%, in a bid to pivot away from the use of coal, which accounts for roughly 70% of the energy produced.