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Exxon's $60 Billion Pioneer Deal Set to Create Energy Supergiant

Having adversely intervened in virtually every other M&A deal in the past 3 years, the Biden FTC will reportedly allow Exxon's $60 billion purchase of Pioneer to go through after the companies agreed to minor concessions, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter. The announcement of the deal will likely come any moment, and the resulting deal will make Exxon - a company which Biden once said makes money money than god - far and away the biggest oil and natural gas producer in the Permian Basin, North America's largest US oil field, and also the biggest energy company in the US.

Pioneer shares that had been down more than 2% on the day reversed those losses and were trading up as much as 0.9% on the news. Hess Corp, the target of a takeover bid by Chevron, also climbed 0.9% although the probability of that deal passing is far lower especially in light of the ongoing arbitration with Exxon over Guyana.  Chevron, Occidental and Chesapeake are among companies with large pending takeovers that are undergoing in-depth reviews before the FTC.

The Pioneer deal will combine two fast-growing Permian operations, lifting Exxon's production in the basin to the equivalent of about 2 million barrels a day by 2027, up from about 600,000 last year.

More than 50 lawmakers - obviously mostly communists, pardon, democrats - urged the FTC in March to increase scrutiny on concerns a $230 billion wave of consolidation in would increase energy prices for consumers, squeeze suppliers and suppress wages. In short: enforce more Soviet-style central planning and crush conventional capitalism. As a result, investors had feared the agency, which has become more a ruthless enforcer of authoritarian anti-capitalism under Democrat admin puppet Lina Khan, would stand in the way of several large deals, especially in an election year when the Biden administration is seeking to prove its climate credentials and contain gasoline prices at all cost.

In response to the ruling communists, oil executives have claimed the deals will benefit shareholders, consumers and the environment. Exxon CEO Darren Woods said the Pioneer deal would lower its cost of production, making US barrels more competitive in the global market, and provide a strong platform for growth, which would ultimately benefit consumers. Exxon also pledged to reduce climate-warming emissions from Pioneer operations to net zero by 2035, accelerating the prior target by 15 years.

The Biden administration has constantly been at odds with the oil industry, but easing through what many executives see as necessary consolidation is likely to improve relations. With domestic crude prices up roughly 14% this year and tensions rising the Middle East, the administration is vulnerable to Republican attacks on measures that hurt the oil industry and raise fuel prices.


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