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Another Merger Being Explored in the U.S. Shale Space

As mergers and acquisitions heat up in the U.S. shale industry, U.S. oil and gas producer Devon Energy is looking to purchase Enerplus, anonymous sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The potential tie-up would see the $3 billion valued Enerplus acquired by  $30 billion Devon Energy, adding to the string of other mergers and acquisitions in the North American oil and gas industry, including megadeals such as Exxon’s acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources and Chevron’s acquisition of Hess, along with Occidental’s purchase of CrownRock, Exxon’s purchase of Denbury, and Chevron’s acquisition of PDC Energy.

The sources were clear that a deal was being discussed, but there was no certainty that a deal would for sure be reached.

Enerplus has assets in North Dakota’s Bakken and Pennsylvania’s Marcellus basin. Devon already has a presence in North Dakota, and an acquisition of more North Dakota assets will help spread out its reliance on other basins, such as the Delaware.

Enerplus already sold its Canadian assets back in 2022 as it shifted focus on its assets in the United States—in retrospect a seemingly wise move that allowed it to return more than $300 million to shareholders last year. Enerplus, however, has been criticized for its high spend on maintaining current levels of production.

Devon, too, ditched its entire Canadian business back in 2019 to Canadian Natural Resources—like Enerplus, it wanted to shift focus to the United States.

Enerplus is trading down year over year but perked up on Thursday on news of the possible deal, climbing by 7.54% on the day. Devon shares are also down from this time last year, but were trading up by nearly 2% on Thursday afternoon.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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