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Gulfport Energy increases Utica Shale interests

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gulfport Energy Corp. said Thursday that it will increase its working interests in the Utica Shale.

The oil and gas production company said earlier this month that it will buy about 30,000 acres in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio for $302 million. The company will also buy an additional 7,000 acres for around $70 million.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. As a result of the deal, Gulfport Energy now expects production in a range of 7.6 million to 7.9 million barrel of oil equivalents for 2013.

Shares of the Oklahoma City-based company rose 57 cents to $38.02 in midday trading. In the past year the stock has traded between $15.79 and $40.73.