A gas drilling site on the Marcellus Shale is seen in Hickory, Pennsylvania February 24, 2009.
A gas drilling site atop the Marcellus Shale formation in Hickory, Pa. REUTERS

Chesapeake Midstream Partners, L.P. has agreed to acquire the Marcellus Shale gas gathering assets from a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation for $865 million.

The acquisition will give Chesapeake Midstream 47 percent of an integrated system of assets that consist of about 200 miles of pipeline in the Marcellus Shale, the company said in a Dec. 28 announcement.

It would also position Chesapeake Midstream as the largest gathering and processing master limited partnership based on throughput volume, said the company. Throughput for these assets, as of Dec. 15, 2011, totaled over one billion cubic feet per day, it said.

We are excited to expand our footprint into the Marcellus Shale, further increasing our basin diversification and, more importantly, exposing us to the increased drilling activity in the liquid-rich regions in the Marcellus South, said J. Mike Stice, Chesapeake Midstream's chief executive officer.

The transaction, scheduled to complete by Dec. 30, is part of a larger move by Chesapeake Energy to sell assets and cut spending to reduce its long-term debt, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Combined with our Springridge Haynesville asset sale of $500 million in December 2010, we have now dropped down gathering assets of approximately $1.4 billion into CHKM, Aubrey K. McClendon, Chesapeake Energy's CEO, said in the joint statement.