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Chesapeake selling acreage in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale

By Jay F. Marks Business Writer Modified: July 7, 2014 at 7:50 am •  Published: July 7, 2014

A Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiary is selling about 22,000 acres and 12 producing acres in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale to Rice Energy Inc., the buyer announced Monday.

Rice will pay Chesapeake and its partners about $336 million for the acreage, which will boost its acreage position by nearly 25 percent.

"This transaction is consistent with our strategy of acquiring high-quality shale assets," CEO Toby Rice said. "We are adding a significant number of drilling locations within an area we have been successfully developing since 2009.

"The acquired assets provide us with a foothold to pursue additional leasehold opportunities and further grow our inventory of low-risk, high-return projects."

Chesapeake has been shedding assets as it works to rein in spending and cut costs. It acknowledged it had reached a deal to sell acreage in southwest Pennsylvania in a May 16 news release about its expected asset sales for this year.

Last week, it spun off its oil-field services businesses into a separate company, Seventy Seven Energy.