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EQT To Expand Operations into Northeast Pa.

Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp., already the largest natural gas producer in the U.S., is buying Alta Resources Development LLC, extending its footprint in the Marcellus shale into northeast Pennsylvania.

The $2.925 billion purchase agreement will add about 1 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas production and 300,000 acres to EQT’s holdings, and will include 300 miles of gathering pipeline and a 100-mile freshwater system to feed new well development, a press release stated.

EQT last year acquired Chevron Appalachia’s Marcellus assets for $735 million, adding 335,000 acres of in the Marcellus shale and about 430,000 acres in the Utica shale in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

“The acquisition of Alta's assets represents an attractive entry into the Northeast Marcellus while accelerating our deleveraging path, providing attractive free cash flow per share accretion for our shareholders and adding highly economic inventory to EQT's already robust portfolio,” EQT President and CEO Toby Rice said. “In addition to increasing our long-term optionality, we believe this transaction accelerates both our path back to investment grade metrics and our shareholder return initiatives."

The Alta assets are expected to add between $300 million and $400 million of annual free cash flow to EQT’s bottom line, making the company more attractive to investors. EQT will pay Alta $1 billion in cash and issue about $1.9 billion in EQT stock to Alta shareholders.

Alta, based in Houston, Texas, operates approximately 900 wells in the Marcellus Shale across Bradford, Wyoming, Sullivan, Lycoming, Clinton and Centre counties. It purchased the Marcellus assets from Anadarko Petroleum in 2017.

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