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A partnership which includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has signed an agreement to acquire oil and gas assets in Ohio for about $2.6-billion in cash.

Encino Acquisition Partners (EAP) — comprised of the CPPIB and Houston-based Encino Energy — is purchasing more than 364,000 hectares of land on which about 900 wells produce more than 600 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day.

EAP says it plans to operate multiple drilling rigs on the properties to boost production and cash flow.

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The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“With a multi-decade inventory of development projects held by 920 producing wells, the Utica acquisition provides an excellent start for EAP, said Encino CEO Hardy Murchison.

“With a strong balance sheet and a partner of CPPIB’s stature, EAP is well positioned for continued growth through drilling and acquisitions.”

The CPPIB invests money not needed by the Canada Pension Plan to pay current benefits and had $356.1-billion in assets as of March 31, 2018.

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