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Exxon spends $1.6B on North Dakota field

(AP) Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) will spend $1.6 billion to boost its holdings in the massive Bakken oil field in North Dakota and Montana by 50 percent.

Exxon said Thursday it will buy all of the Bakken shale assets held by Denbury Resources Inc. for $1.6 billion in cash. Denbury will also receive Exxon's interest in two fields in Wyoming and Texas.

Exxon will acquire 196,000 acres, boosting its holdings in the region to almost 600,000 acres. The acreage acquired is expected to produce 15,000 barrels of oil and other hydrocarbons per day in the second half of this year.

Oil production in the Bakken has soared in recent years, helping to fuel the biggest jump in domestic oil production in more than 40 years.

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