Statoil Takes Over Another 59,000 Acres from Chesapeake, Pays $4,325 Per Acre

Norwegian energy giant Statoil, which has a deal with Chesapeake Energy to develop some of Chesapeake’s acreage in the Marcellus Shale, has just transferred 59,000 acres from Chesapeake’s lease holdings to their own.

From a press statement issued by Statoil on Friday, March 26:

Statoil has signed an agreement with Chesapeake which will add approximately 59,000 net acres to Statoil’s current 600,000 net acre positions in the Marcellus Shale.

The cost to Statoil of the transaction is $253 million, with an average acreage cost of $4,325 per acre.

As part of Statoil’s joint venture agreement with Chesapeake in 2008, Statoil has the right to periodically acquire its share of leasehold that Chesapeake continues to acquire in the Marcellus Shale. Statoil has now exercised such acquisition rights on a series of Chesapeake Marcellus Shale acquisitions.

Statoil has seen very encouraging production performance since the entry into the Marcellus play in late 2008. 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 US shale gas plays.

This acquisition will enable the partnership to optimize its development activity and secure additional developments in the play. Statoil expects to continue to grow its Marcellus position together with Chesapeake.

Andy Winkle, VP for the Marcellus Asset, says “We were an early mover into the Marcellus and we will continue to build a long term position in what we expect will become a legacy asset and reach our goal of 50,000 boepd production by 2012.”

*Statoil Website (Mar 26) – Statoil strengthens US shale gas position