Hess sells 74,000 acres of Utica shale

Jan. 29, 2014 at 1:37 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Hess Corp.'s chief executive said Wednesday his company decided to unload acreage in the Utica shale play in the United States because it wasn't profitable.

Hess Corp. said it sold 74,000 acres in the Utica shale reserve area to an undisclosed party for $924 million. The shale area is spread out over much of the Appalachian Basin.

Chief Executive Officer John Hess said the sale is part of an ongoing effort to reshape the company's portfolio. He said his company was "no longer justified [in] retaining this acreage" because of poor economics.

Hess Corp. last week said it would spend $2.85 billion, about half of its 2014 exploration and production budget, on exploiting shale reserves, primarily in North Dakota.

Shale reserves in North Dakota are stimulating the overall production of oil and natural gas in the United States.

Hess Corp. last year said it was working to transform into an exploration and production company after it left the refining business by closing a facility in New Jersey.

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