Exxon Mobil, Pioneer rumors spark fracking M&A talk

Analyst: Purchase ‘will make Exxon unstoppable in Permian basin’

Exxon Mobil is reportedly in preliminary discussions to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources as part of the company’s Permian Basin strategy, analysts say.

Based in Irving, Texas, Pioneer is a hydrocarbon exploration company with a market capitalization of around $52 billion and is the third-largest oil producer behind Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips in the basin, according to Refinitiv data.

Oil pump jack at sunset

Exxon Mobil is reportedly in preliminary discussions to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources as part of the company’s Permian Basin strategy, analysts say. (Reuters / Angus Mordant / File / Reuters Photos)

Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial, told FOX Business in an interview, "The potential deal suggests that Exxon sees value in the Permian Basin, the largest in the U.S., given Pioneer's dominant position."

"Moreover, it indicates that Exxon expects that oil prices will remain high enough to warrant the investment and that oil products will continue to be a major source of energy in the short to medium term," he added.

Meanwhile, Exxon spokesperson Emily Mir told FOX Business on Monday, "We do not comment on market rumors or speculation."

EXXON MOBIL EYES POTENTIAL MEGA-DEAL WITH SHALE DRILLER PIONEER

ExxonMobil shares closed lower Monday. Pioneer stocked finished higher.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 109.41 +1.03 +0.96%
PXD n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Edward Moya, a senior market analyst for OANDA in New York, said, "Pioneer is a perfect Permian play because they just went through the process of divesting assets."

"This will make Exxon unstoppable in the Permian," he continued.

GAS PRICES INCREASE AS OPEC CUTS OIL PRODUCTION

Analysts believe that Pioneer and other exploration and production companies could be acquired in the coming quarters as oil explorers and producers like Exxon look to grow inventory.

Exxon is also coming off a year of record profits on sky-high oil and gas prices that helped it end 2022 with $29.6 billion in cash and equivalents.

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Reuters contributed to this article.