UPDATE 1-Sanchez Energy to buy Shell properties in Texas for $639 mln

Wed May 21, 2014 5:19pm EDT

(Adds Shell paring exposure to U.S. shale, deal details, background)

May 21 (Reuters) - Sanchez Energy Corp said it would buy oil and gas properties in the Eagle Ford region of south Texas from Royal Dutch Shell Plc for about $639 million cash as the Dutch oil company looks to pare its exposure to U.S. shale.

Shell and other big peers including BP Plc have had less success than smaller companies tapping North America's vast shale formations. Shell, which is selling more than 700,000 acres of U.S. shale assets, said in March it also cutting workers in North American onshore exploration.

The properties comprise proved reserves of 60 million barrels of oil equivalent and produced 24,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day on an average in the first quarter.

The oil and gas properties, located in Dimmit, LaSalle and Webb counties, brings Sanchez' total acreage in the Eagle Ford shale to 226,000 acres that have an estimated 3,000 possible locations for drilling, it said. (Reporting By Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore and Anna Driver in Houston; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Grant McCool)

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