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Hess Acquires Marquette Exploration’s Ohio Utica Shale Acreage

by Kenneth E. DuBose on September 15, 2011

Hess announced the acquisition of 85,000 net acres in Ohio’s Utica Shale from Marquette Exploration for $750 million. For those keeping track, that’s over $8,800 per acre in counties that border Pennsylvania in east-central Ohio. This announcement is on the heals of a joint-venture with Consol Energy that gave the company 100,000 net acres for $6,000 per acre to be paid over the next five years. The company now holds a total of 185,000 net acres in the emerging Utica play. Hess operates 165,000 net acres out of the 285,000 gross acres the company has an interest in.

Now, on to drilling. The rumor mill says initial test wells were barn burners, but we’ll know a lot more when more companies and rigs hit the ground.

Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) announced today it has acquired Marquette Exploration LLC and other leases in Ohio’s Utica Shale, boosting its acreage position by 85,000 net acres at a cost of approximately $750 million.

The leases, in which Hess will have a 100 percent working interest, are in Jefferson, Harrison and Belmont counties. Appraisal activities on this acreage are planned to commence in the fourth quarter. Together with the previously announced joint venture with CONSOL Energy, the transactions provide Hess with approximately 185,000 net acres in the Utica Shale play.

“With these transactions, we have built a strategic acreage position in the Utica Shale, allowing us to strengthen our portfolio of unconventional resources in high quality assets, leverage our operating expertise and create significant potential for future growth in reserves and production,” said John Hess, Chairman and CEO of Hess Corporation.

Read the full press release at

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