Tulsa, OK-based Unit Corp. said Friday its petroleum subsidiary has closed a previously announced sale of a little more than one-third of its interest in Bakken Shale properties to QEP Energy for $228 million. The deal was final as of July 1, 2012.

Unit Petroleum Co. sold its Bakken interest to the subsidiary of QEP Resources Inc., the Denver, CO-based natural gas/oil exploration and production company. The divested properties are estimated to have proved reserves of 5.7 million boe.

The second quarter average daily production for these properties was 1,044 boe/d, Unit said. The properties, 35% of the company’s total acreage in the Bakken play, amount to 4,756 net acres.

Unit CEO Larry Pinkston called the deal “a strategic divestiture of certain of our noncore properties, and the proceeds will be applied against bank debt.” He said the deal will help Unit’s “overall liquidity for future growth opportunities.”

This summer Unit Petroleum agreed to pay $617 million to Noble Energy Inc. for oil and gas properties in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle (see Shale Daily, July 12). The deal doubled Unit’s acreage in its Granite Wash core area.

QEP has continued a strategy of increasing acreage in the liquids-rich Bakken Shale and Three Forks formation, entering deals with multiple sellers this year to acquire “significant crude oil development properties” in the Williston Basin for an aggregate purchase price of close to $1.38 billion (see Shale Daily, Aug. 27).

Among the other sellers it has named thus far was Rapid City, SD-based Black Hills Corp., which in late August acknowledged that its oil/gas subsidiary had signed a definitive agreement to sell 85% of its Bakken and Three Forks shale assets in the Williston in North Dakota to QEP for $243 million.