Exxon Still Hunting For Shale Buys

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Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said it will continue to look for ways to increase its exposure to unconventional energy assets such as shale oil and gas deposits. Further acquisitions would follow the company's 2010 purchase of XTO Energy, a major shale gas producer, a deal that made Exxon the largest U.S. natural gas company.

Texas-based Exxon (XOM) paid $650 million in December to acquire shale gas assets in Arkansas. ''We will continue to evaluate acquisitions,'' Mark Albers, senior vice president for Exxon, told the Goldman Sachs Global Energy Conference, Reuters reported.

Separately, Exxon said today that the XTO business will sell its interests in four North Sea exploration blocks as part of the company's previously announced plans to divest non-essential assets this year in a bid to raise cash. Exxon will open a data room for the properties on Jan. 24.

''XTO is seeking offers for its entire interest in the blocks and is willing to consider exchange for other assets, cash consideration, or a combination of these,'' Reuters reported, citing an Exxon document related to the matter.