Hess Corporation has acquired Marquette Exploration and other leases in Utica Shale in the US state of Ohio, increasing its acreage position by 85,000 net acres at a cost of about $750m.

The company will have a 100% working interest in these leases located in Jefferson, Harrison and Belmont counties.

Appraisal activities on this acreage are planned to begin in the fourth quarter of this year

The transactions, together with Hess’ joint venture with CONSOL Energy, provide the company with about 185,000 net acres in the Utica Shale play.

Hess chairman and CEO John Hess said these transactions allow the company to strengthen its portfolio of unconventional resources in high quality assets, leverage its operating expertise and create significant potential for future growth in reserves and production.

US-based Hess is engaged in the exploration, production, purchase, transportation and sale of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the production and sale of refined petroleum products.