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This one comes after RIL losing its $14.5-billion takeover bid for global petrochemicals major LyondellBasell. The petrochemical major Reliance Industries Ltd, is now in talks with Atlas Energy Inc. to invest in the U.S. natural-gas producer’s shale assets, reports Bloomberg. The talks are still in the preliminary stage and that the discussions are privately held, the report adds.

Atlas hired Jefferies & Co. to sell a stake in 584,000 acres that may yield gas from the Marcellus Shale.  Apart from Reliance Industries, San Diego-based Sempra Energy, along with other parties, is negotiating to be part of the deal, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Gas is extracted from shale through a process known as hydraulic fracturing in which millions of gallons of chemically treated water are forced into wells to break up rock and allow gas to flow.

This is the third attempt by Reliance Industries to acquire assets in the energy space since November. Apart from LyondelBassel Industries, it has also looked at oil-sands block owned by Value Creation Inc.

In November last year, RIL, disclosed its preliminary bid for LyondellBasell and later revised the bid twice.  Since then, it has been silent on its next move since the company said that  that its own

restructuring plan to move out of bankruptcy was more attractive than the take over offer by the RIL.

The buzz around RIL’s acquisitions gained currency in the past owing to RIL having raised close to $2.5 billion (about Rs 9,300 crore) by selling treasury stocks in recent past.

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