In this week's news, a Denver energy company is buying several thousand acres of oil land and the North American rig count has increased for its sixth straight week.

Denver’s SM Energy Co. announced Aug. 8 that it is buying 24,783 net acres in Howard County in West Texas for $980 million from Rock Oil Holdings. The purchase will add to the company’s other holdings in the Midland Basin.

To pay for a portion of the purchase, the company says it is offering $100 million worth of senior convertible notes.

Last week SM Energy said it is selling some oil and natural gas field assets in New Mexico, North Dakota and Montana for $172.5 million.

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Rig count increases by one

The number of rigs seeking oil and natural gas increased by one to 464 last week in data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Aug. 5. It’s the sixth straight week of increases.

The Houston-based company says 381 rigs were seeking oil and 81 were seeking natural gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. Last year 884 rigs were active.

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In the major oil-producing states, Texas saw an increase of three rigs, while New Mexico went up by two. North Dakota and Oklahoma each increased by one. Louisiana dropped by four rigs last week as California, Colorado and West Virginia each dropped one rig.

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