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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

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Exxon Expects Regulator To Greenlight $60-Billion Pioneer Deal in June

  • ExxonMobil expects the U.S. antitrust authority to greenlight the Pioneer acquisition by the end of June.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking at several major proposed deals in the U.S. oil industry, including acquisitions proposed by Exxon, Chevron, and Occidental, among others.
  • The deal between Exxon and Pioneer would more than double ExxonMobil's Permian footprint.
ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil continues to expect that the U.S. antitrust authority will give the green light to its proposed $60-billion all-stock acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources by the end of the second quarter, Exxon’s chief financial officer Kathy Mikells told Bloomberg in an interview on Friday.

Exxon said in its Q1 earnings release today that it expects the transaction, which has been approved by Pioneer shareholders, to close in the second quarter of 2024, pending regulatory approval.   

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking at several major proposed deals in the U.S. oil industry, including acquisitions proposed by Exxon, Chevron, and Occidental, among others.  

Last month, nearly 50 Democratic Senators and Representatives urged the FTC to investigate the recent mergers in America’s oil and gas sector amid concerns that they would harm competition and hurt consumers.  

Announcing the acquisition of Pioneer, Exxon said in October 2023 that the proposed transaction “transforms ExxonMobil’s upstream portfolio, more than doubling the company’s Permian footprint and creating an industry-leading, high-quality, high-return undeveloped U.S. unconventional inventory position.”

“We continue to expect the deal is going to be approved in the second quarter, consistent with the fact that there really aren’t any major issues associated with the deal,” Exxon’s Mikells told Bloomberg.

“Combined, we’re only 5%” of America’s oil and natural gas production, Mikells added.

Separately, legal actions by Exxon could delay the megamerger of the other supermajor, Chevron, which has proposed to buy Hess Corporation in all-stock deal valued at $53 billion.

Hess Corp’s Guyana assets have become the bone of contention between Chevron and ExxonMobil, which is the operator of Guyana’s prolific and lucrative offshore Stabroek block, with Hess and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) as partners.

Exxon claims it has the right to first refusal to acquire Hess’s stake in Stabroek, from which Exxon and its current partners pump more than 500,000 bpd of crude from several projects.

Last month, ExxonMobil and CNOOC merged their arbitration claims against Chevron’s takeover of Hess’s stake.

Earlier this month, Hess said that Chevron’s acquisition could be delayed until next year due to ExxonMobil’s arbitration case.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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