In Economies Of Shale, ExxonMobil’s Buying Pioneer

In Economies Of Shale, ExxonMobil’s Buying Pioneer
Stéphane Renevier, CFA

5 months ago2 mins

Mentioned in story

What’s going on here?

ExxonMobil Corporation agreed to buy Pioneer Natural Resources Company in the world’s biggest takeover this year.

What does this mean?

Exxon is one of the energy sector's top performers, with a stock price that’s more than tripled over the last three years. And now, the giant is buying smaller firm Pioneer for just shy of $60 billion in an all-stock agreement – the energy titan’s biggest deal since it merged with Mobil in 1999. When all is said and done, Exxon should be able to crank up its daily oil production to around 50% more than its nearest rival’s, and tap into tons of onshore oil wells that can be fired up within months. That quick turnaround may come in handy: demand for oil fluctuates fast, so the ability to rapidly tweak production could help Exxon use market conditions to its advantage.

Biggest North American energy deals

Why should I care?

For markets: It’s feeding time.

Major-scale oil companies once shrugged off The Permian Basin, doubtful that its wells could deliver enough crude oil to turn into worthwhile profit. That left smaller independent producers like Pioneer free to roam what’s become the US’s most prolific oil and gas basin. But now that the big dogs have cottoned on, major companies will likely snap up smaller ones to move toward Exxon’s scale and presence in the region. Remember, though, that this mega deal, and any that follow, will be scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission – especially now that the US president's accused Exxon of pocketing “more money than God”.

Exxon-Pioneer size

The bigger picture: Oil’s not slipping.

If Exxon’s still digging deep into oil assets, it’s because the company believes fossil fuels will power the global economy for years to come – despite warnings that oil demand must fall to save the Earth. So while some believe peak oil prices are on the horizon, Exxon’s not holding its breath.

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