Expanding on its strategy of focusing on natural gas drilling, EQT Corp. on Friday announced a deal to bolster its local Marcellus Shale holdings.
The Downtown-based energy company, which is in the process of selling its Equitable Gas utility to Peoples Natural Gas, said it was buying roughly 99,000 net acres in southwestern Pennsylvania plus 10 horizontal Marcellus wells in Washington County from
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its partners for about $113 million.
Three of the Marcellus wells are currently producing, with the remaining seven expected to be by the end of the year, the company said.
The acreage includes 67,000 Marcellus acres and 32,000 Utica Shale acres. Of the total purchase price, $60 million is for the undeveloped acreage and $53 million is for the Marcellus wells, EQT said.
The acquisition, which is expected to be completed May 30, includes some 25,000 acres within EQT's core Marcellus development areas of Allegheny, Washington and Greene counties. The company anticipates drilling four wells on the newly acquired land late this year.
The remaining 42,000 Marcellus acres are unlikely to be developed because of near-term lease expirations or a scattered footprint, EQT said.
The deal to sell Equitable Gas to North Shore-based Peoples is awaiting approval from the state Public Utility Commission and various other agencies, which is expected to take until the end of the year.