US-based shale gas producer Devon Energy has signed an all-cash deal to acquire Validus Energy, an operator in the Eagle Ford Shale in the US, for $1.8bn.

Validus Energy, a Denver-based exploration and production company is backed by Pontem Energy Capital (PEC), private investors and other institutions.

Devon expects the acquisition to provide 42,000 net acres near its existing leasehold in the Eagle Ford Formation.

Current production capacity of Validus Energy in the Eagle Ford basin stands at around 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), of which 70% is oil.

The production volumes are anticipated to increase to an average of 40,000boepd over the next year, said Devon Energy.

Furthermore, the acquisition provides 350 repeatable drilling locations for Devon Energy in the core of the Karnes Trough oil window in addition to 150 ‘high-quality’ refrac candidates.

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Devon Energy president and CEO Rick Muncrief said: “The Validus acquisition captures a top-tier oil resource with a meaningful runway of highly economic inventory that is complementary to our existing footprint in the Eagle Ford.

“This accretive transaction also enhances our financially-driven strategy that is designed to deliver per-share financial growth and accelerate the return of capital to our shareholders.”

The deal, which is subject to the usual terms and conditions, is planned to be closed by the end of Q3 2022.

Last month, Devon Energy acquired RimRock Oil and Gas’ leasehold interest and related assets in the Williston basin in North Dakota for $865m.