Aethon Energy Management LLC is exploring a sale of its Haynesvill Shale acreage in North Louisiana which could be valued at around $6 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said.

Bankers hired by Aethon reached out in the final weeks of 2021 to a small number of potential buyers to gauge initial interest in its Haynesville assets in North Louisiana, the sources said, ahead of a formal sale process later this year. Aethon’s assets in the East Texas portion of the Haynesville shale formation are not part of the process, the sources added.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information, cautioned there was no guarantee that Aethon would complete a sale.

A spokesperson for Aethon declined to comment.

The Dallas-based firm was founded in 1990 by veteran oil and gas investor Albert Huddleston, and has gone on to acquire and develop energy assets across a number of U.S. shale plays. This includes creating a sizable position in the gassy Haynesville formation of Louisiana and East Texas.

A number of privately-owned Haynesville gas producers went up for sale in 2021, as owners capitalized on a rebound in natural gas prices—which hit a 12-year high in October—to offload long-held investments.

The acquirers were publicly listed companies seeking to reduce costs through economies of scale and bolster operations close to the Gulf of Mexico coast, which has emerged as a key gateway for U.S. exports of LNG.

For example, Southwestern Energy Co. acquired Indigo Natural Resources for $2.7 billion in September and GEP Haynesville for $1.85 billion in December, and Chesapeake Energy Corp. bought Vine Energy for $615 million in November.