Exxon Mobil buys shale gas companies

ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) purchased two closely held energy explorers for $1.69 billion to gain shale-gas reserves in East Coast states, according to Bloomberg.

Exxon purchased Phillips Resources Inc. and TWP Inc. The 200 employees at the two companies reportedly will be retained. The acquisition of Phillips Resources and TWP gives Exxon access to 317,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale that stretches beneath several eastern states including New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Exxon paid $34.9 billion for XTO Energy (NYSE: XTO) in 2010, making it the biggest U.S. gas producer, the article said.

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