Magnum Hunter Resources Corp.’s Bakken Hunter LLC is buying existing wells and about 20,000 net Williston Basin lease acres in Divide County, ND, from Samson Resources Co. for $30 million in cash.

The deal is expected to close on or about Dec. 20 with an effective date of Aug. 1, 2012, subject to conditions and price adjustments.

Magnum Hunter currently owns a 47.5% working interest in the properties being acquired, and upon closing will have varied working ownership interests in the properties up to 100%. It will become operator of that portion of the acquired properties that is currently being operated by Samson. Magnum Hunter is also acquiring 310,000 boe of proved developed producing reserves and 192 net boe/d of production.

“The acquisition of these central Divide County assets will result in Williston Hunter becoming a Three Forks Sanish/Bakken operator in North Dakota along the border of Canada, which has been a primary goal,” said Glenn Dawson, president of Magnum Hunter unit Williston Hunter Inc. “We anticipate our initial drilling operations in this area will commence in the first quarter of 2013 utilizing one-mile horizontal lateral drilling and completion technology similar to our successful cost-effective strategy deployed in the Tableland Field in Saskatchewan this past year.

“In the Tableland Field, our drilling and completion costs have averaged $3.4 million for laterals completed with 25 to 30 frack stages with cemented liners and pressure-pumped down coil tubing.” Thirty-day initial production rates have been 250-300 b/d, he said.

“Due to the low cost of these wells, our economic returns are outstanding. When the casing head gas from these properties currently being flared is eventually tied into a new gas gathering system in 2013, our ultimate economics will further improve.”

After closing the deal with Samson, Magnum Hunter will own about180,000 net acres in the Williston Basin, the company said.

In April Bakken Hunter agreed to acquire Williston Basin properties from an affiliate of Baytex Energy Corp. for $311 million in cash (see Shale Daily, April 19).

One year ago an investor group led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP agreed to pay $7.2 billion for Tulsa-based Samson Investment Co., one of the largest privately held exploration and production companies in the United States. The deal included all of Samson’s assets except for its onshore Gulf Coast and deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets (see Shale Daily, Nov. 28, 2011).