Whiting Petroleum plans to acquire Kodiak Oil & Gas in a $6 billion deal that establishes the biggest producer in the valuable Bakken/Three Forks shale region, the US companies have announced.
Under the all-stock transaction, the latest in the hot US shale-energy sector, Kodiak shareholders will receive 0.177 of a Whiting share for each Kodiak share, equating to a $13.90 price, or a 5.1 percent premium to the Whiting price over the last 60 days, the companies said in a statement late Sunday.
Whiting will assume Kodiak's $2.2 billion in debt.
The deal will allow the companies to combine complementary acreage positions, upgrade their technological expertise and ensure greater access to capital to accelerate drilling, they said.
"We expect the combined company to have increased operational and financial flexibility that will allow for accelerated and efficient development of the assets of both companies," said Kodiak chief executive Lynn Peterson in the statement.
The company's combined Bakken/Three Forks production would be 107,000 barrels of oil-equvalent per day in the first quarter of 2014.
Some forecasters have predicted the US will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia this year as the biggest oil producer following a boom in shale production that has surprised most experts.
In afternoon trade, Whiting shares leaped 7.5 percent to $84.45, while Kodiak shares advanced 4.6 percent to $14.89.