Exxon mulls Pioneer deal, shares jump

A deal with Pioneer would be Exxon's biggest since 1999

Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources are surging on rumors Exxon Mobil is closing in on a deal to purchase the hydrocarbon exploration company, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Pioneer stock has been battered in recent weeks, down almost 10% the last month.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PXD PIONEER NATURAL RESOURCES CO. 275.54 +0.42 +0.15%
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 121.06 +0.01 +0.00%

Exxon's takeover of Pioneer could be worth roughly $60 billion and reshape the U.S. oil industry, according to the Journal. 

Pioneer Natural Resources

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It would also be a "legacy-shaping" move for CEO Darren Woods, the Journal noted highlighting his uneven tenure at Exxon, which spanned the pandemic including a $22 billion loss, the first annual deficit for the oil major in years. 

Darren Woods Exxon

Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp., speaks during the 2022 CERAWeek. (Photographer: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"We don’t comment on market rumors," an ExxonMobil spokesperson told FOX Business on Friday. 

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The rumored acquisition could be announced in the coming days, while it is still possible a deal will not be reached, the Journal said.

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Oil pump jack at sunset

The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, Nov. 22, 2019. (REUTERS/Angus Mordant//File Photo / Reuters Photos)

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Should Exxon, with its $436 billion in market value, acquire Pioneer, it would be the oil king’s largest since merging with Mobil in 1999 while giving the company an improved foothold in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico.

oil rig

A pump jack drills oil crude from the Yates Oilfield in West Texas’s Permian Basin, near Iraan, Texas, March 17, 2023. (REUTERS/Bing Guan / Reuters Photos)

After posting a record profit in 2022, the Journal said that Exxon has been "flush with cash" and exploring options that would push it deeper into West Texas shale.

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In April, the Journal reported Exxon and Pioneer and already begun preliminary talks.

Meanwhile, the price of oil is down the last five days, slipping almost 9% to roughly $82 a barrel after reaching the $95 plateau last week. 

Oil producers like Chevron, Occidental Petroleum and Hess are down over the same time. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 163.64 +0.80 +0.49%
OXY OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP. 67.34 -0.04 -0.07%
HES HESS CORP. 159.20 +2.22 +1.41%

"We're likely to see at least one more rate hike this year, and this higher growth environment means that the oil price may stay at higher levels for a sustained period of time," trend analyst at Q.ai Jason Mountford said. "Investors should be open to the opportunities in the energy sector, but need to be selective in their individual asset selection."

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