Independent oil and gas company Atlas Energy will buy 42,344 acres in the gas-rich Marcellus shale along with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), weeks after the two announced a joint venture.
The companies will buy the acreage in Fayette, Washington, Indiana, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Clarion Counties of Pennsylvania at an average price of $4,532 per acre.
Earlier this month, RIL said it would pay Atlas $1.7 billion, or $14,000 an acre, to buy a 40 per cent stake in Atlas’ operations in the Marcellus shale.
The booming Marcellus shale — a gas project which according to some geologists could hold enough natural gas to satisfy US demand for a decade — has been attracting companies’ attention for the last few years.
Following Wednesday’s deal, the Atlas-RIL joint venture will control about 343,000 Marcellus Shale acres, of which about 206,000 acres are net to Atlas.
Atlas shares were unchanged at $36.08 in post-market trade Wednesday on the Nasdaq stock exchange.