Encana Corp. announced Monday it is seeking partners to help it develop 1.6 million acres of oil-rich shales, including 280,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. The formation straddled the mid-section of Louisiana and stretches into Mississippi.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company plans to spend more than 55 percent of its 2012 capital expenditures to develop these oil- and liquids-rich leases. Those properties also include the Utica/Collingwood formations in Michigan; the Eaglebine play in East Texas; the Mississippian Lime in Oklahoma and Kansas; and the Alberta Duvernay in Canada.

“At this point, it is premature to speculate on the size or value of any potential transaction. We are marketing an interest in these assets in which Encana would continue to operate and retain majority ownership,” Randy Eresman, Encana’s president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.