Other than extolling XTO Energy's
After a massive land grab by the likes of Chesapeake Energy
Maybe ExxonMobil has been active in Appalachia for a while now, but the firm's interest in Marcellus gas is news to me. With other majors like BP
So who's the likely bait? We know that Chesapeake is looking to sell a quarter interest in its massive stake. The only question there is whether Exxon's willing to go splitsies, or needs to have full control. In the latter case, Range Resources and Chief Oil & Gas would seem to be the most natural targets. Chief has already built up and sold a multi-billion dollar asset to Devon Energy
Granted, it's still extremely early stages in the Marcellus. Range, for instance, has only drilled about two dozen horizontal wells to date. ExxonMobil probably wants to see more results before it really cracks open the checkbook. The company's preliminary interest is a strong tell nevertheless.