Hess has entered into an agreement with CONSOL Energy Inc. to acquire a 50 percent interest in CONSOL's nearly 200,000 acres in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio for aggregate payments of $593 million.
"We are delighted with our entry into the Utica Shale, which enables us to build a strategic acreage position in an emerging unconventional play in the United States," said John Hess, Chairman and CEO of Hess Corporation. "We believe that this acquisition offers significant potential for future growth in reserves and production with most of the land either owned in fee or held by production with high net revenue interests. We are honored to partner with CONSOL, which has a long history and an excellent safety and operating record in the Appalachian basin. We believe that together our companies will build a profitable business and deliver important economic benefits for the residents of eastern Ohio."
Hess will pay CONSOL $59 million at closing, which is expected in October, and $534 million in the form of a 50 percent drilling carry of certain CONSOL working interest obligations over a five year period. The joint exploration and development plan calls for Hess to operate approximately 80,000 acres in Jefferson, Harrison, Guernsey and Belmont counties while CONSOL will operate approximately 120,000 acres elsewhere in eastern Ohio, including Portage, Tuscarawas, Mahoning and Noble counties. Appraisal drilling is expected to commence in the fourth quarter.
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