Chesapeake Energy has entered into a definitive agreement with Bronco Drilling to acquire all the outstanding shares of Bronco, including debt, net working capital and outstanding warrants, for a total value of $315m.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2011.
Bronco owns 22 high-quality drilling rigs, which are operating in the Williston and Anadarko basins, including three that are under contract with Chesapeake.
On completion of the transaction, Chesapeake will combine Bronco's 22 rigs into its wholly owned subsidiary, Nomac Drilling, which currently owns 95 drilling rigs.
Chesapeake is currently operating a total of 160 drilling rigs and plans to use about 200 drilling rigs by the end of 2012.