A Denver oil and gas company is making a big bet in West Texas, and is selling its North Dakota assets.

SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) said it's expanding its Midland Basin footprint in West Texas by buying 35,700 net acres in Howard and Martin Counties in a cash and stock deal for $1.6 billion from QStar LLC, a portfolio company of EnCap Investments L.P.

The deal comes on the heels of its August purchase of 24,783 net acres in Howard County for $980 million. SM Energy now has 82,450 net acres in the Midland Basin.

"We have established a position as an outstanding operator in the Midland Basin, and with this acquisition we also establish significant scale. We are particularly excited about the performance and future potential of Howard County, leading us to further core up our portfolio and focus on this fast emerging, top tier area," said Jay Ottoson, CEO, in a statement.

Read more at the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/2dl3dtx

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