Statoil ups Marcellus shale stake

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Norwegian oil giant Statoil has bought an additional 59,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale from Chesapeake Energy for $253 million.
The company already owns 600,000 acres in the Marcellus shale play. It bought a 32.5 percent stake in Chesapeake’s acreage in 2008 and the deal allows it to periodically acquire its share of leasehold that Chesapeake continues to buy, Bloomberg reports.

“Statoil has seen very encouraging production performance since the entry into the Marcellus play,” the company said. “This new acreage is expected to strengthen the position of Statoil and our cooperation with Chesapeake as the largest lease holders in one of the most prospective U.S. shale gas plays.”

Statoil expects to reach production of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2012, Bloomberg said. Production from the Marcellus in 2009 was 3,000 barrels of oil equivalent.