Imperial Oil, Canadian affiliate of ExxonMobil has acquired 50% interest in Celtic Exploration for C$1.6bn ($1.5bn).

Imperial Oil has purchased 50% stake in Celtic from ExxonMobil Canada. Last week, ExxonMobil Canada completed the acquisition of Celtic Exploration following the final approval from Canadian regulatory authorities.

ExxonMobil Canada purchased Celtic Exploration in October 2012 and as a part of the acquisition it bought 545,000 net acres in the liquids-rich Montney shale, 104,000 net acres in the Duvernay shale and additional acreage in other areas of Alberta.

Celtic estimated that the assets at 31 December 2011 holds 128 million oil equivalent barrels of proved plus probable reserves, of which 24% are crude, condensate and natural gas liquids and 76% natural gas.

The current production of the acreage includes 72 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 4,000 barrels per day of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids.

It is expected that the technical expertise and financial strength of ExxonMobil, Imperial and XTO Energy, will help the development of the acquired liquids rich acreage from Celtic.