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Gulfport Energy Enters Midcontinent in $1.85B Deal

Gulfport Energy Corp. said late Wednesday that it would acquire 46,400 net surface acres with multiple producing zones in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP) for $1.85 billion from Vitruvian II Woodford LLC.

The deal with Vitruvian, a portfolio company of the energy-focused private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners, gives Utica Shale-focused Gulfport entry into the Midcontinent. The package includes 85,000 net effective acres as the properties would give Gulfport access to 46,400 Woodford Shale acres and 38,600 Springer Shale acres along with other prospective zones. The contiguous assets, located in Grady, Stephens and Garvin counties, OK, are 80% held-by-production and were booked at 1.1 Tcfe of proved reserves at the end of September.

"Combining Vitruvian's high-quality SCOOP position with our prolific Utica assets will transform our company and solidify Gulfport with core positions in two of North America's high-return natural gas basins," said Gulfport CEO Michael Moore. "In Vitruvian, we believe we have found a prolific stacked pay resource with strong production history, multi-year high return drilling inventory [and] an opportunity with significant upside from both a resource and operational perspective."

Gulfport said the properties are located primarily in the over-pressured liquids-rich/dry gas window of the play and were producing 183 MMcfe/d as of October. The transaction includes 48 producing horizontal wells and an additional interest in more than 150 non-operated horizontal wells. The deal is expected to close in February.

Gulfport said it has identified 1,750 gross drilling locations in the Woodford and Springer intervals alone. There are currently four rigs running on the acreage and Gulfport plans to maintain that fleet next year and add another two rigs at the beginning of 2018.

The company announced that it would offer 29 million shares of its common stock with an option for underwriters to purchase about 4.4 million more to fund the transaction and possibly a portion of its capital development going forward. The equity raise would be combined with a debt offering of $600 million of the company's senior notes.

The purchase price includes $1.35 billion in cash and 18.8 million shares of Gulfport common stock for the sellers.

Gulfport has been focused almost entirely on Ohio's Utica Shale in recent years, where last week it announced an $87 million deal to bolt-on 12,600 net acres, which expanded its position to more than 223,000 net acres in the play. It also has legacy assets on the Gulf Coast. The company said last month that it would begin 2017 with six rigs running in the Utica.

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