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ConocoPhillips in Talks to Buy Marathon Oil in All-Stock Deal

ConocoPhillips is in an advanced stage of discussions to acquire Marathon Oil in an all-stock transaction, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, quoting sources briefed on the issue.

A potential deal, which looked imminent on Tuesday night, is expected to value Marathon Oil at just over its current market capitalization of $15 billion, according to FT’s sources.  

Still, there is still a risk that the talks could fall apart or another buyer outbids ConocoPhillips for Marathon Oil, the UK business newspaper noted. 

Earlier this year, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance told CNBC in an interview “We have said our industry needs to consolidate.”  

“It’s healthy for our business. It’s the right thing to be doing for our business,” Lance added.

“It’s going to lower costs for the consumers. It’s going to keep the competitiveness of the American energy system intact.”

A ConocoPhillips-Marathon Oil deal would be the latest in a series of transactions in the U.S. shale industry which boomed last year and earlier this year.

U.S. oil and gas exploration and production companies spent as much as $234 billion on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) last year—the highest such spend in real dollar terms since 2012, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said earlier this year.

2024 also began on a high note—companies announced a record $51 billion in deals in the first quarter, driven – again – by deal-making in the Permian, according to Enverus Intelligence Research (EIR).

Early this month, ExxonMobil finalized its $60-billion acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources, while Chevron marked a milestone on Tuesday in its proposed $53-billion acquisition of Hess Corporation after Hess shareholders approved the company’s merger with Chevron.

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Since Exxon and Chevron announced their respective acquisitions in late 2023, many other U.S. oil and gas companies, large and small, have entered into M&A deals, including Occidental and Chesapeake.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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