Statoil has bought 70,000 net acres in the Marcellus shale for $590 million, the Norwegian oil giant announced Wednesday.
The company, which also will be operator for the acreage, estimates the region has a risked resource base of 300-500 million barrels of oil equivalent. The deal includes land in Ohio and West Virginia and is currently producing about 5,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to Statoil.
Statoil emphasized that the land is in the liquids-rich region of the Marcellus, instead of areas heavy in dry natural gas, which commands a much lower commodity price in the United States.
“The U.S. unconventional plays hold a substantial resource base and represent an increasingly important part of future energy supplies,” said Statoil U.S. Onshore Senior Vice President Torstein Hole. “Statoil is further strengthening its U.S. onshore portfolio by acquiring additional acreage in valuable liquid rich parts of the Marcellus shale in Ohio and West Virginia.”
The company has been in the Marcellus shale since 2008 and has moved to expand its U.S. presence since then, with acquisitions in several major shale regions.