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Whiting to top Bakken oil firms in $6B Kodiak buy
Denver • Whiting Petroleum Corp. said Sunday it is buying Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. for $6 billion in stock, worth $13.90 per share, in a deal that will make it the largest producer in the booming Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.
The combined company had more than 107,000 barrels of oil equivalent production per day in the first quarter. The merger is meant to take advantage of cost savings through technological expertise, complementary drilling areas and better access to capital. It also gives it a stronger credit profile.
In 2004, Whiting acquired Salt Lake City-based Equity Oil Co. for $76 million. Equity was one of Utah's oldest oil-exploration companies, dating to 1923.
Whiting's biggest operations are in the Bakken and Three Forks fields in North Dakota, the Redtail Niobrara play in Colorado and an enhanced oil recovery field in Texas.
Whiting CEO James Volker said both companies' shareholders will benefit from the combination. Next year, the company is expected to produce 152,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, he said.
The deal will increase earnings per share starting in 2015.
Kodiak shareholders will get 0.177 shares of Whiting stock for every share they hold. The value is about 5 percent above the average price over the last 60 trading days. After the transaction, Whiting shareholders will own about 71 percent of the company, while Kodiak shareholders will own about 29 percent.
The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.
Whiting shares closed at $78.54 on Friday, down 1.8 percent from the previous close, while Kodiak shares closed down 2.3 percent at $14.23.