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Reliance Industries Buys Third US Shale Gas Stake

Thursday, 05 Aug 2010 11:39 AM

India's Reliance Industries will pay $392 million for a 60 percent interest in a shale gas joint venture with U.S.-based Carrizo Oil & Gas, the company said Thursday.

This is the third such deal this year for Reliance as it chases resources and expertise in promising unconventional gas reserves in North America. Reliance has been keen to play a stronger role in the U.S., the world's second-biggest energy consumer.

"The proposed joint venture will supplement strengths achieved through our recent joint ventures and further expands our footprint in North American shale gas operations," Walter Van de Vijver, Reliance's president of international exploration and production, said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, Reliance will buy out the interest of Avista Capital Partners to form a new joint venture with Carrizo to explore 104,400 net acres in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale area.

New extraction technology has helped create a boom in shale gas, which is geologically difficult to extract.

Reliance estimates the potential resource at 3.4 trillion cubic feet equivalents of gas and said it expects to drill 1,000 wells in the area over the next decade.

The transaction is expected to close in September.

Since April, Reliance has agreed to pay $3 billion for significant stakes in Atlas Energy and Pioneer Natural Resources, two other U.S. companies with shale gas holdings.

Reliance is India's most valuable listed company, with revenue of $44.6 billion last fiscal year.

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India's Reliance Industries will pay $392 million for a 60 percent interest in a shale gas joint venture with U.S.-based Carrizo Oil Gas, the company said Thursday.This is the third such deal this year for Reliance as it chases resources and expertise in promising...
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