EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) said Nov. 13 it completed its acquisition of Rice Energy Inc. for roughly $8.2 billion, including about $1.5 billion in debt or preferred equity.

The deal—announced in June—is set to make Pittsburgh-based EQT the largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. and also marked a continued shift from last year’s oil-centric Permian Basin buying spree to more gas-focused deals.

“With the closing of the transaction, we are combining two of the leading operators in the Appalachian Basin to create an even stronger company that is positioned to deliver greater returns to shareholders through operating efficiencies and improved overall well economics,” Steve Schlotterbeck, EQT's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Pro forma for the acquisition, EQT will hold about 1 million total net acres in the Marcellus Shale. As a result, the company said it expects a 50% increase in average lateral lengths for future wells located in Greene and Washington counties, Pa.

In addition, EQT said the two companies’ infrastructure footprint complements EQT Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: EQM), where the company is planning dropdowns and additional organic projects.

In conjunction with the transaction closing, two former Rice directors, Daniel J. Rice IV and Robert F. Vagt, have joined the EQT board, effective immediately, as part of the merger agreement.

Separately, EQT said Nov. 13 it appointed Thomas F. Karam, founder and chairman of Karbon Partners LLC, and Norman J. Szydlowski, former president and CEO of SemGroup Corp. (NYSE: SEMG), to the EQT board, effective immediately. With these appointments, EQT has expanded its board size to 15 directors.