Hess to sell Utica acreage for $924 million

Hess Corp. has agreed to sell 74,000 acres of its dry gas acreage in the Utica shale to an undisclosed buyer for $924 million.

“While our wells in the dry gas portion of the Utica were highly productive, we concluded that the potential returns from such an investment, at current and projected natural gas prices, no longer justified retaining this acreage as a strategic part of our overall liquids-based asset portfolio,” said John B. Hess, chief executive officer.

Hess this month stated plans to increase expenditures in the Utica to $550 million from $455 million in 2013, targeting the wet gas window with 35 new wells (OGJ Online, Jan. 24, 2014).

The company in 2011 acquired Marquette Exploration LLC, which held 85,000 net acres in the Utica, for $750 million (OGJ Online, Sept. 13, 2011).

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