By Ryan DezemberLong believed to be a takeover target, Oasis Petroleum instead is playing the part of consolidator.

The oil and gas producer announced agreements Thursday to snatch up North Dakota oil fields from four different sellers to greatly boost its presence in the state.

Included in the 161,000-acre, $1.52-billion haul are the North Dakota fields of Zenergy, one of the last remaining closely held energy producers in the state’s Williston Basin.

Tulsa, Okla.-based Zenergy enlisted bankers earlier this year to shop its fields in the state,MoneyBeat reported last month. Oasis said in a securities filing Thursday that it will pay Zenergy $1.45 billion for oil fields covering 136,000 acres.

Investors cheered the deal, sending Oasis shares as much as 5.1% higher in late morning trading.

“As some have been concerned about the company stepping outside the basin to bolster inventory, this announcement could cause some to breathe a sigh of relief,” analysts with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey wrote in a note to clients.

The deal could disappoint those Oasis shareholders hoping the company would itself be gobbled up, however. The acquisitions, which boost the size of Oasis’s North Dakota drilling acreage by nearly 50%, make the Houston company a much larger bite to swallow.

Indeed, analysts with Jefferies said in their own note to clients that Oasis now “is less likely to be a takeover candidate.”



08/10/2015 2:01pm

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