ConocoPhillips agreed to acquire up to 46,000 net acres of leasehold in the Niobrara play from Lario Oil & Gas Co. in the Colorado counties of Arapahoe, Adams, Elbert and Douglas.
Terms of the transaction call for ConocoPhillips to operate the acquired leases. ConocoPhillips plans to begin exploration efforts as soon as possible with a 3-D seismic survey and drilling of test wells.
For its work in the Niobrara play, ConocoPhillips plans to leverage its unconventional knowledge and expertise from the Bakken formation in the Williston basin and the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas.
Lario is based in Denver. ConocoPhillips did not say how much it paid for the acreage but called the deal a "significant investment" south and east of Denver.