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Oasis Petroleum adds 161,000 acres in North Dakota

HOUSTON (AP) -- Oasis Petroleum Inc. said Thursday that it will pay $1.52 billion to acquire 161,000 acres and boost production in the Williston Basin of North Dakota.

The company said that it made the acquisition in four separate deals but did not identify the sellers. The sales are expected to close in early October.

Shares of Oasis rose $2.18, or 5.5 percent, to $41.78 in afternoon trading.

The acquisitions will boost Oasis' holdings in the Williston Basin by nearly 50 percent, to 492,000 acres. Recent production of the total acreage is equal to about 43,000 barrels of oil per day, it said.

"These acquisitions add high quality acreage in the heart of the Bakken and Three Forks play, providing incremental scale to our premier position in the Williston Basin," Chairman and CEO Thomas Nusz said in a statement.

The company currently operates 11 rigs in the basin, and the operators who sold to Oasis run two more. Oasis said that it expects to increase to 15 or 16 rigs by the end of next year.

Oasis also said that its lenders have raised the company's revolving-credit borrowing base to $1.5 billion from $1.25 billion based on the company's June 30 reserves.

As of this week, the Houston company had $100 million in borrowings and $5.2 million in letters of credit, which reduce its borrowing capacity under the revolving credit facility. It had cash and cash equivalents of $198.6 million.