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Ex-Chesapeake CEO's American Energy doubles Utica acreage in Ohio

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[February 04, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters)  Former Chesapeake Energy Corp <CHK.N> CEO Aubrey McClendon's American Energy Partners said on Monday that it had struck three deals in Ohio's Utica shale region, doubling its holdings there.

The company said it would buy about 130,000 acres in the southern part of the Utica shale from Hess Corp <HES.N>, Exxon Mobil Corp <XOM.N> and privately held Paloma Partners. It said the three deals would bring its total acreage in the region to about 260,000 acres.

American Energy did not disclose how much it is paying for the acreage, but Hess said previously that it sold its 74,000 acres in the Utica for $924 million.

McClendon co-founded Chesapeake, the No. 2 U.S. natural gas producer, in 1989.

But he left his post of chief executive officer in April after clashes with the board over spending and a series of Reuters investigations that led to civil and criminal probes at the company.

An internal investigation by Chesapeake's board last year cleared McClendon of intentional wrongdoing.

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He founded American Energy Partners last year and raised $1.7 billion to drill in the Utica. The company said last week that it had lined up an additional $500 million in equity commitments to fund an oil and gas business.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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