Exxon and its subsidiary XTO Energy signed a deal to acquire 100 percent of the assets in the region by Denbury Onshore. The deal increases Exxon's holdings in the Bakken play by 50 percent to close to 600,000 acres.
The U.S. Energy Department said an oil boom in the Bakken play in the north of the country was contributing to an increase in the use of domestic crude oil. The U.S. Geological Survey in 2008 estimated there were 3 billion-4.3 billion barrels of oil in the U.S. part of the formation.
Exxon said production in the second half of 2012 from the acquired assets should yield more than 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Denbury in the deal gets $1.6 billion in cash and acquires Exxon's assets in Texas in Wyoming that are producing around 3,600 boe per day.
Denbury, in a statement, said it would use the cash from the deal to pursue additional oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico or Rocky Mountain regions.