American oil and gas major ExxonMobil is reportedly planning to snap up Permian shale basin operator Pioneer Natural Resources, with talks already in advanced stages.

The news about the potential deal was first reported by The Wall Street Journal with the consideration possibly at around $60bn.

As of 5 October 2023, Pioneer Natural Resources’ market value stood at $50bn, reported Reuters. This makes the company the third largest oil producer in the Permian Basin after Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

During the second quarter ended 30 June 2023 (Q2 2023), Pioneer Natural Resources had an average oil production of 369 thousand barrels of oil per day (mbopd).

Overall, the company’s total production during the period averaged 711 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboepd).

Its Q3 2023 oil production is expected to average between 367mbopd and 377mbopd, while total production is projected to average between 705mboepd and 725mboepd.

According to its Q2 2023 financial and operating results announced in August 2023, Pioneer Natural Resources had a net debt of $5.2bn, as of 30 June 2023.

A deal could be possibly made between ExxonMobil and Pioneer Natural Resources in the coming days, should the ongoing negotiations turn out to be successful, reported Reuters citing three undisclosed sources.

However, spokespersons of both firms did not comment on the report.

The deal, if it happens, will be the largest for Exxon after its 1998 merger with Mobil in a transaction worth over $75bn.

In July this year, ExxonMobil signed an all-stock deal worth $4.9bn to acquire Denbury, a US-based firm with operations and assets centred on carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCS) solutions and enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

Subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions, the deal is expected to close in Q4 2023.