[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the October 2018 edition of Oil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazine here.]

With so many public E&Ps coring up and selling down assets to become basin-specific pure players—a move to appease investors desiring focus and simplicity—it came as a surprise to many when the news wires last December announced that Bakken-only Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS) had made a play to buy 20,300 net acres in the Delaware Basin. The acres are far to the south of the only assets Oasis has ever known in its decade-long history, and as close to the southern border as its Bakken assets are to the northern. The step-out met with mixed emotions from the investor community.

The deal, acquired from Forge Energy LLC for $946 million, presumably solved analysts’ concerns around inventory longevity in Oasis’ Williston Basin portfolio, effectively doubling the number of core locations to drill. But it also created new angst with a $36,000-per-acre price tag and a 33% shareholder dilution to help fund the purchase.

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