Under the terms of the deal, shareholders of Rosetta will receive 0.542 of a Noble Energy share for each unit they own in the company.

The offer of $26.62 per share represents a 28% premium to Rosetta’s average stock price over the past 30 trading days.

Noble will also take over Rosetta’s $1.8bn debt as of 31 March.

Rosetta shareholders will own 9.6% stake in Noble Energy upon completion of the transaction.

Rosetta chairman, CEO and president Jim Craddock said: "The combination with Noble Energy brings together two complementary companies with a deep and diverse portfolio of assets in key unconventional resource basins.

"The deal will accelerate value delivery from our strong asset base, and the all-stock nature of the transaction will allow our shareholders to continue to reap that value growth across commodity price cycles."

Scheduled to be concluded in the third quarter this year, the transaction is subject to Rosetta shareholders approval as well as certain regulatory approvals and customary conditions.

Assets of Rosetta include around 50,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale, and 56,000 acres in the Permian basin.

Noble Energy chairman, CEO, and president Dave Stover said: "The Eagle Ford and the Permian are premier unconventional resource plays, two of the most economic in the US, which will expand our resource base and development inventory and further diversify our portfolio."

More than 1,800 gross horizontal drilling locations with potential to produce approximately one billion barrels of oil equivalent have been identified by Noble Energy across Rosetta’s liquids-rich assets.

Noble Energy expects a compounded annual production growth rate of around 15% from Rosetta’s assets over the next several years.

Image: Rosetta Resources owns assets in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian basin. Photo: courtesy of suwatpo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.