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To acquire producing properties and approximately 500,000 acres with exposure to Marcellys, Utica and Trenton Black River formations.

Denver-based The Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to sell Appalachian assets to an undisclosed buyer for an undisclosed price.

The assets include producing oil and gas properties and approximately 500,000 acres in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, which have exposure to the Marcellus, Utica and Trenton Black River exploration trends.

The sale is part of a larger divestiture program that Anschutz Exploration has initiated. The Wall Street Journal reported in August that the entire E&P company was on the sales block and could fetch upwards of a $1 billion. Apart from the Appalachian Basin, the company has E&P assets in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana. The newspaper adds that the company was reported to have drilled 80 wells since 2006.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is financial advisor to Anschutz. The deal is expected to close in late 2010.