NEW YORK — Noble Energy will spend $494 million for nearly all of the Rockies oil and gas fields owned by the U.S. division of Canada's Suncor Energy, the company said Tuesday.

Suncor Energy Inc. last year bought Petro-Canada to create that nation's largest energy producer and the company has been shedding assets since the deal was approved by regulators.

About 80 percent of the oil and other liquids are within the Wattenberg field, the largest onshore asset held by Noble.

"The addition of complimentary drilling locations and opportunities in Wattenberg allows Noble Energy to continue to strengthen this core area," said Noble Energy chief operating officer David Stover.

The deal brings an additional 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Noble's production, the company said.

During the third quarter Noble Energy Inc., based in Houston, reported record volumes of oil and natural gas in the Wattenberg.

That assets were under the control of Petro-Canada Resources Inc. and Suncor Energy America Inc.

The total purchased properties hold an estimated 53 million barrels of oil equivalent in proved reserves, 45 percent of which are liquids.

Stover said the company now controls over 530,000 net acres in the central DJ Basin, with net production approaching 52,000 barrels equivalent per day.

Noble expects the deal to close in the first quarter and will fund the purchase through an existing credit facility.

Shares of Noble Energy rose more than 2 percent, or $1.68, to $74.90 Tuesday. (AP)