Statoil Sells Another 11.5K WV Marcellus Acres to Antero for $96M

StatoilNorwegian oil giant Statoil, which is 67% owned by the country of Norway, was an early and big mover in leasing Marcellus and Utica Shale acreage, amassing a huge 665,000 acres. Over the past few years Statoil has been equally aggressive in divesting itself of its non-operated acreage (Statoil doesn’t do the drilling) in the northeast–in particular in West Virginia. This is about to get complicated, but we’ll try to make it understandable. A lot of Statoil’s acreage is in joint venture deals. In December 2014, Statoil sold some of its “working interest” in the Marcellus acreage it owns in WV and PA to Southwestern Energy for $394 million (see Statoil Reduces Marcellus Holdings in $394M Deal with Southwestern). The deal reduced Statoil’s ownership in its WV acreage from 32.5% down to 23%. In June of this year, Antero Resources purchased some of that WV acreage from Southwestern (see Antero Takes Southwestern to Cleaners in Deal for 55K Marc. Acres). Antero snapped up even more in the same geography in July (see Antero Resources Picks Up Another 13K Marcellus Acres for $108M). Yesterday Statoil announced it is selling more (the rest of?) its ownership in non-operated WV Marcellus acreage to Antero–some 11,500 net acres–for $96 million in cash. That is, Antero continues to consolidate and take full ownership over Marcellus acreage in WV–primarily in Wetzel, Tyler and Doddridge counties…

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