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Whiting Petroleum and Oasis Petroleum announced Monday that they have agreed to a “merger of equals” that will create one of the largest producers in the Bakken tight oil play. The combined company will hold almost 1 million net acres in the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana, with output expected to approach 170,000 boe/d this year. The merger has an enterprise value of roughly $6 billion, based on the closing share prices of both companies on Mar. 4. The company will operate under a new name, which will be announced before the deal closes in the second half of the year, and will be headquartered in Houston, although it will retain its office in Denver for the time being. The merger of Whiting and Oasis comes less than two years since both firms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the wake of the Covid-19 crash in 2020. The companies collectively shed billions of dollars in debt and emerged leaner and focused “for the anticipated industry consolidation that we expect to see in the coming years,” Whiting CEO Lynn Peterson said at the time. The combined company is expected to generate free cash flow of about $1.2 billion in 2022, of which it will aim to use 60% on dividends and share buybacks.

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