Total buys stake in Chesapeake Energy's shale discovery in Ohio

French oil company Total SA purchased a minority stake in a section of Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s (NYSE: CHK) Ohio shale discovery for $2.32 billion.

Total will acquire a 25 percent stake in 619,000 acres spread across 10 Ohio counties, according to The Wall Street Journal. Chesapeake will receive $2.03 billion from Total, with Chesapeake’s previous partner, Houston-based EnerVest Ltd., collecting $290 million. About $610 million of Chesapeake’s take was paid when the parties closed the deal on Dec. 30, the article said, and the remaining $1.42 billion will be paid to develop the fields.

The investment pushes Chesapeake closer to its goal of reducing long-term debt by 25 percent while boosting production 30 percent. The company also expects to sell off $7 billion worth of assets and joint ventures in 2012, the article said.

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