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Bonds News

UPDATE 1-IP sells Haynesville rights to Chesapeake

(Adds details, background)

HOUSTON, July 31 (Reuters) - International Paper Co IP.N said on Thursday it agreed to sell the right to drill on 13,000 acres in the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana to natural gas company Chesapeake Energy Corp CHK.N for $263 million.

Chesapeake and other energy companies have been snapping up mineral rights in the Haynesville Shale, a formation that is believed to hold massive reserves of natural gas.

In March, Chesapeake Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon said the Haynesville Shale may be the most important find in his company’s history.

Since the discovery was announced, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based Chesapeake has amassed the right to drill on more than 500,000 acres in the Haynesville, which covers parts of northeast Texas and northern Louisiana.

International Paper said it plans to use the proceeds to pay down debt.

The deal is expected to close in late August. (Reporting by Anna Driver, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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