Southwestern Energy has signed a purchase and sale agreement with Statoil to acquire an undivided 20% ownership in oil and gas assets in west Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania for approximately $394m.

rig

Under the terms of the agreement, Southwestern Energy will acquire 515,000 acres in the southern part of the Marcellus, in which Statoil holds 29% working interest.

Statoil US onshore head and senior vice president Torstein Hole said: "The transaction reduces Statoil’s non-operated holdings at an attractive price, demonstrating the value of the Marcellus assets.

"Our new partnership with Southwestern Energy provides us with an opportunity to maximise the value of an important growth asset in our US onshore portfolio. Southwestern is a very dynamic operator that will maximise the value and return."

Statoil will hold around 23% of the underlying non-operated Southern Marcellus assets upon completion of transaction which is scheduled to close in Q1 2015.

Southwestern Energy is an independent energy company and its subsidiaries are involved in natural gas and oil exploration, development and production, natural gas gathering and marketing.

Image: Drilling rig deployed in the Marcellus area. Photo: courtesy of Helge Hansen/ Statoil ASA.