Gulfport Energy Announces Proposed Acquisition Of Additional Utica Acreage And Provides Operational Update

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gulfport Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:GPOR) today announced its proposed acquisition of additional working interests in the Utica Shale and provided an operational update.

Utica Shale

Gulfport has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase approximately 30,000 net acres in the Utica Shale in Eastern Ohio from Windsor Ohio LLC, an affiliate of Wexford Capital LP, for approximately $300 million, increasing Gulfport's leasehold interests in the Utica Shale to approximately 137,000 gross (99,000 net) acres. The transaction excludes 14 existing wells, along with certain acreage surrounding each well. The proposed transaction, which is expected to close prior to year-end, will increase Gulfport's working interest in the acreage to 72.5%. Gulfport will continue to serve as operator of its acreage in the Utica Shale. The transaction was approved by a special committee of Gulfport's Board of Directors. Tudor Pickering Holt & Co acted as advisor to the special committee.

Grizzly Thickwood Thermal Application

Grizzly Oil Sands ULC ("Grizzly"), a company in which Gulfport holds an approximate 25% interest, announced today that it has submitted a resource application to the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board ("ECRB") for the development of a 12,000 barrel per day ("bpd") oil sands project at Thickwood. Grizzly's Thickwood Thermal project is expected to produce 12,000 bpd of bitumen for up to 40 years utilizing both steam-assisted gravity drainage ("SAGD") and cyclic steam stimulation ("CSS") recovery technologies. The project will consist of:
  • a plant site consisting of two 6,000 bpd central processing facilities;
  • four SAGD well pads (split pads) and up to 33 CSS well pads; and
  • associated facilities and infrastructure.

Grizzly expects to file an environmental assessment with the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development ("AESRD") in January 2013. Grizzly expects receipt of approvals from the ERCB and AESRD for the Thickwood Thermal Project within 12 to 18 months of application submission. Following approval, Grizzly anticipates the period leading up to first production to be approximately 18 months.

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