UPDATE 1-Whiting USA Trust II IPO prices at range midpoint

Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:12pm EDT

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March 22 (Reuters) - Whiting Petroleum Corp said it priced its initial public offering of 16 million units in Whiting USA Trust II at $20 per trust unit, the midpoint of its indicated range.

At the IPO price, the trust raised $320 million from the offering. It had expected to sell 16 million trust units at $19 to $21 each.

The trust was formed in December by Whiting Petroleum to own a non-operating stake in certain predominantly producing properties in the Rocky Mountains, Permian Basin, Gulf Coast and Mid-Continent regions of the United States.

Natural gas producers grappling with plummeting prices and rising drill costs have been raising funds by selling investors access to some of their wells through Royalty Trusts, which pay little or no tax.

In January, SandRidge Energy filed for an IPO of up to $603.75 million for its SandRidge Mississippian Trust II, after the successful debut of SandRidge Mississippian Trust I.

The proceeds from Whiting USA Trust II's IPO will be used to repay debt.

Raymond James and Morgan Stanley were the offering's lead underwriters.

The trust units are expected to start trading on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WHZ."

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