ROYAL Dutch Shell has agreed to buy US natural gas explorer East Resources for £3.2bn.
The cash offer was made to East Resources and its private equity investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).
East Resources holds more than 650,000 acres in the Marcellus shale – a rock formation in the US which is believed to have vast amounts of natural gas.
Shell – whose deal must be given the green light by regulators – also revealed it had bought 250,000 acres of mineral rights in the Eagle Ford shale in south Texas.
Shell chief executive Peter Voser said: “These acreage additions form part of an ongoing strategy, which also includes divestments, with an objective to grow and to upgrade the quality of Shell's North America tight gas portfolio.”