According to a press release issued today, Gulfport Energy (NASDAQ:GPOR) has entered into a definitive agreement to expand its existing Utica shale holdings in Eastern Ohio. As per the terms of the agreement, Gulfport will purchase approximately 37,000 acres for around $372 million. Proceeds from Gulfport's recently-announced stock offering, expected to close Dec. 24, will be used to fund the acquisition.

Upon completion of the transaction, Gulfport will have increased its leasehold acreage in the area to 106,000 net acres, less 14 existing wells, and certain land surrounding the 14 excluded wells. The deal is expected to close by year end. Gulfport will continue serving as operator for the Utica shale operations.

The acquisition was approved by Gulfport's board of directors, and is subject to customary closing conditions.