An affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc has listed more than 8,000 net leasehold acres for sale in northern Pennsylvania in an area prospective for both the Marcellus and Utica shales.
SWEPI LP is accepting sealed bids for non-producing property and property held-by-production (HBP) in Lycoming, Potter and Tioga counties, according to listings on the oil and gas auction website EnergyNet.com. Marcellus Drilling News first reported the sale.
Up for grabs are 2,226 net HBP acres in southeastern Potter County; 1,265 non-producing acres in Lycoming and Tioga counties and 4,744 net acres of both non-producing and HBP properties in northeastern Tioga County. In 2014, the company announced successful Utica Shale results from two wells in Tioga County, extending the viable boundaries of the play to north-central Pennsylvania (see Shale Daily, Sept. 3, 2014). Bids are being accepted until 4 p.m. CDT on Oct. 4.
As the company has restructured its North American portfolio in recent years, it has made several moves in the Appalachian Basin. In 2014, as part of a broader exit from Louisiana's Haynesville Shale and the Pinedale Anticline of Wyoming, Shell swapped 19,000 net Pinedale acres with Ultra Petroleum Corp. in exchange for 155,00 net acres in Tioga and Potter counties (see Shale Daily, Aug. 14, 2014). The same year, it sold 207,000 net acres in Western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio to Rex Energy Corp. (see Shale Daily, Aug. 13, 2014).
At the company's capital markets day conference in June, Shell said natural gas and unconventionals would take a backseat in the near term as it focuses on more lucrative deepwater and petrochemicals opportunities (see Daily GPI, June 7).
The company entered Appalachia in 2010, when it acquired 750,000 leasehold acres from East Resources. It said late last year that it would close its Appalachian headquarters near Pittsburgh to cut costs (see Shale Daily, Dec. 2, 2015). But the properties it's selling in Lycoming, Potter and Tioga counties are a small fraction of its 850,000 acres in Pennsylvania, where it still has field offices in McKean and Tioga counties. It also has property in Ohio and New York.