Japanese firm Mitsui & Co. Ltd. is deepening its foothold in U.S. unconventional shale gas through M&A.

Through its subsidiary Mitsui E&P USA LLC (MEPUSA), Tokyo-based Mitsui acquired a shale gas asset in Texas from E&Ps Sabana LLC and Vanna LLC, Mitsui announced June 24. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquired “Tatonka” asset includes approximately 46,500 acres with access to the U.S. Gulf Coast industrial corridor and new LNG export projects.

“MEPUSA will drill wells to evaluate the well performance and develop and operate the asset aiming for full-scale development after 2026,” Mitsui said in a release.

It’s unclear where exactly Sabana and Vanna held acreage or assets within the state of Texas. Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) records include an operator listed as Sabana Petroleum Corp., but the company has never reported oil or gas production.

Hart Energy has reached out to Mitsui & Co. for more information about the acquisition.

Last year, MEPUSA scooped up a 92% working interest in shale gas assets from Silver Hill Eagle Ford E&P LLC, a subsidiary of Silver Hill Energy Partners.

MEPUSA currently reports natural gas production from La Salle and Webb counties, Texas, according to RRC data.

PHOTO: Mitsui E&P USA Wells.jpg
Mitsui E&P USA LLC is listed as an operator for gas wells in Webb and La Salle counties, Texas, according to available Rextag data. (Source: Rextag, RRC)

MEPUSA develops and operates the South Texas gas asset, located near the U.S.-Mexico border. When announcing the Silver Hill acquisition last year, the company aimed for gas production from the field to reach over 200 MMcf/d.

Japanese energy firms have been acquisitive of U.S. shale gas opportunities.

In the Haynesville Shale, Rockcliff Energy II sold to Tokyo Gas Co. and partner Castleton Commodities in a $2.7 billion deal late last year.

Also in the Haynesville, Sabine Oil & Gas sold to a subsidiary of Osaka Gas Corp. for $610 million in 2019.