Company News - Merit Energy to acquire Shell's Michigan properties

US independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies have been busy buying and selling properties recently. Merit Energy Co., a private Dallas independent, plans to acquire Shell Exploration & Production Co.'s Michigan assets for $445 million. Closing is expected by early December.Shell said the sale is part of the previously announced target of $2 billion in annual average divestments from the businesses in the Royal Dutch/Shell Group.In other upstream news:Forest Oil Corp., Denver, agreed to buy 70 properties in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore Louisiana from Unocal Corp.'s gulf region business unit for $295 million.Unocal Corp. said its Chicago Carbon Co. subsi...

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