OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Chesapeake Energy Corporation ("Chesapeake", NYSE: CHK) and CNOOC Limited (NYSE: CEO; SEHK:00883) announced the execution of an agreement whereby CNOOC International Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, will purchase a 33.3% undivided interest in Chesapeake's 600,000 net oil and natural gas leasehold acres in the Eagle Ford Shale project in South Texas. The consideration for the sale will be $1.08 billion in cash at closing, subject to adjustment. In addition, CNOOC Limited has agreed to fund 75% of Chesapeake's share of drilling and completion costs until an additional $1.08 billion has been paid, which Chesapeake expects to occur by year-end 2012. Closing of the transaction is anticipated in the 2010 fourth quarter.??

As operator of the project, Chesapeake will conduct all leasing, drilling, completion, operations and marketing activities for the project. Over the next several decades, the companies plan to develop net unrisked unproved resource potential up to 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (after deducting an assumed average royalty burden of 25%). Chesapeake is currently utilizing 10 operated rigs to develop its Eagle Ford leasehold and with the additional capital from CNOOC Limited, anticipates increasing its drilling activity to approximately 12 operated rigs by year-end 2010, approximately 31 rigs by year-end 2011 and approximately 40 rigs by year-end 2012. Approximately 900 wells are expected to be drilled by year-end 2012. Currently Chesapeake has 10 horizontal Eagle Ford wells in production with initial production rates of up to 1,160 barrels of oil and 0.4 mmcf of natural gas per day in the oil window and 4.0 mmcf of natural gas and 1,200 barrels of oil per day in the wet gas window. Chesapeake anticipates the project will reach its peak production of 400,000-500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the next decade.??

The assets are located principally in the counties of Webb, Dimmit, LaSalle, Zavala, Frio and McMullen, and are located primarily in the oil window (~85%) and the wet gas window (~15%) of the Eagle Ford Shale and in the dry gas window of the Pearsall Shale. CNOOC Limited will have the option to acquire its 33.3% share of any additional acreage acquired by Chesapeake in the area and also the option to participate with Chesapeake for a 33.3% interest in midstream infrastructure related to production established from the assets.??

Aubrey K. McClendon, Chesapeake's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are