Exxon Mobil pays $1.6 billion for Bakken assets

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly-traded oil company, announced plans to purchase 196,000 net acres in the booming Bakken shale play of North Dakota, according to Reuters.

The energy giant will pay around $1.6 billion to Denbury Resources Inc. for the assets, which will increase its production in the Bakken region by around 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and bring its total holdings in the unconventional oil play to nearly 600,000 net acres

"We expect more of these deals from the majors in the future, given the majors' collective struggles to grow production and replace reserves, their significant financial resources, and given the fact that they have come to believe that the United States' unconventional oil growth story is a durable one," said energy investment bank Simmons & Co, according to the news source.

MarketWatch reports that the Exxon deal, when coupled with the recent purchase of Canadian oil company Nexen by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, indicates a preference among oil majors to invest in well-developed plays.

An assessment of Exxon Mobil's holdings can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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