The purchase price equates to an average of $1,675 per net acre, with approximately $15m in upfront cash and the option to drill to earn its full interest through $44m in carried drilling costs. The transactions are subject to customary due diligence, with closing anticipated within 30 days.

The company is currently maintaining its 2010 capital expenditure budget of $255m, but reallocating approximately $50m or 20% of the amount to leasehold, drilling and completion costs associated with the Eagle Ford shale oil play. The company expects to spud its initial Eagle Ford shale well later in the second quarter and run 1-2 rigs in the play during the second half of the year and currently expects to spud 7-8 Eagle Ford shale wells during 2010.

In the Haynesville/Bossier shale play, the company has also entered into agreements to drill to earn an approximate 58% average leasehold interest in 7,300 gross (4,200 net) acres primarily in Shelby and northern Sabine counties, Texas.

The company expects all of the acquired acreage to be prospective for both the Haynesville and Middle Bossier Shale. There is no upfront cash consideration, with an estimated $9.6m or $2,285 per net acre in carried drilling costs, all of which is included in the company’s 2010 capital expenditure budget. With the acquisitions, the company’s Haynesville shale acreage inventory includes approximately 89,500 net acres.