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Whiting Petroleum CEO Jim Volker

Whiting Petroleum said Sunday it is buying Kodiak Oil & Gas for $6 billion to create the largest producer in the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.

Whiting will pay $13.90 per share for Kodiak, a premium of about 5 percent above the average price of Kodiak shares for the past 60 days.

Production by the combined company for the first quarter of this year would have been about 107,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Whiting CEO Jim Volker said next year the combined company is expected to produce 152,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The deal will increase earnings per share starting in 2015.

Kodiak shareholders will get 0.177 shares of Whiting stock for every share they hold.

Whiting will assume Kodiak’s debt of $2.2 billion.

The combined company will take on Harold Hamm’s Continental Resources, currently the biggest producer in Bakken, with about 1 million acres under its control.

After the transaction, Whiting shareholders will own about 71 percent of the company and Kodiak shareholders will own about 29 percent.

The combined company will have 855,000 combined net acres and almost 3,500 net future drilling locations.

The deal is expected to close before the end of 2014.