MDU Resources subsidiary has partner for Niobrara

BISMARCK, N.D. – A subsidiary of North Dakota-based MDU Resources Group is taking on a financial partner as it prepares to begin drilling next year in the Niobrara oil shale play in southeastern Wyoming.

MDU Resources says Fidelity Exploration & Production Co. has signed an agreement with JD Rockies Resources to sell a 25 percent working interest in 88-thousand Niobrara acres.

JD Rockies Resources will pay one-fourth of the expenses and get one-fourth of the proceeds from drilling done by Fidelity.

Terms of the deal that is expected to be completed in December were not disclosed.

JD Rockies Resources is a subsidiary of ITOCHU Corp., which MDU Resources says will be the first Japanese company to participate in a shale oil project in the U.S.

ITOCHU trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.