Texas, Ohio shale basins get Exxon's attention

IRVING, Texas, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. said its subsidiary, XTO Energy Inc., is moving deep into the Permian shale basin in Texas and the Utica shale area in Ohio.

XTO President Randy Cleveland said in a statement moves on acreage in the Permian basin in Texas and the Utica basin in Ohio show his company is committed to exploiting "high-margin" shale reserve areas in the United States.


XTO acquired the Permian acreage for an undisclosed sum from rival Endeavor Energy Resources. Endeavor stays on as the operator, though XTO takes charge of drilling operations in the shale basin.

American Energy-Utica LLC agreed Monday to fund XTO's development costs in the latter's core Utica shale area of 55,000 net acres in exchange for 30,000 acres of XTO's Utica holdings.

Cleveland said one well from its assets in the Utica area was producing about 15 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the analytical arm of the Energy Department, in October said the Utica and Permian shale basins are in part responsible for major increases in U.S. natural gas production.

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