Chesapeake Energy Corp. has agreed to sell a third of its oil and gas assets in the Eagle Ford shale project in South Texas to the China National Offshore Oil Corp. for $1.08 billion, both companies announced on Monday.

The deal represents the largest acquisition of U.S. energy assets by a Chinese company, according to The New York Times and Bloomberg. It calls for CNOOC, China’s third-largest oil company, to cover 75 percent of Chesapeake’s drilling and completion costs in Eagle Ford until an additional $1.08 billion will be paid to Chesapeake for the assets. The additional payment is expected by the end of 2012. Also, CNOOC will have the option to buy a third of any other fields Chesapeake acquires in the area, according to a Chesapeake statement.

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