- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma City-based natural gas exploration and production company says it will merge two affiliates to form one of the largest energy companies in Appalachia.

American Energy Partners LP said Monday that American Energy-Utica LLC and American Energy-Marcellus LLC will merge with more than 300,000 acres in the natural gas-rich Utica and Marcellus shales in eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia.

The new company, American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC, will be wholly owned by current shareholders of the two American Energy affiliates.

The company had estimated reserves of 1.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent and production of about 167 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent a day at the end of September.

American Energy Partners was founded in 2013 by former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon.

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