Chesapeake building big Bakken position-analysts

Sept 27 Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:41am EDT

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Sept 27 (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N), the No. 2 U.S. producer of natural gas, has amassed 320,000 acres in the oil-rich Bakken formation in North Dakota, analysts at Bernstein Research said in a note to clients on Tuesday.

"Given Chesapeake's track record of acquiring large positions in resource plays and attracting (joint venture) interest and capital, their activities merit attention," Bob Brackett, an analyst at Bernstein, wrote.

A spokesman for Chesapeake did not immediately respond to an email seeking a comment, but a map on the company's website indicates Chesapeake has operations in North Dakota.

U.S. oil and gas producers, encouraged by high oil prices, have flocked to the vast Bakken formation in Montana and North Dakota because it contains billions of barrels of crude oil locked tightly in rock.

Chesapeake, based in Oklahoma City, is known for its ability to buy oil or gas-rich shale acreage at low prices with the aim of finding deep-pocketed partners to help fund exploration and production.

Shares of Chesapeake rose 77 cents, or nearly 3 percent, to $28.32 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading. (Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston; editing by John Wallace)

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