Following record profits last year, oil and gas giant ExxonMobil Corporation is now looking for ways to spend all the extra cash it has on its hands. According to a report by Wall Street Journal, ExxonMobil is currently exploring the possibility of acquiring Texas shale oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources.
Reportedly, ExxonMobil already approached Pioneer to test the company’s openness to being sold. However, at this point, the talks are exploratory and remain on an informal level. If the talks result in a positive outcome, the deal shouldn’t be expected sooner than 2024.
ExxonMobil benefited from surging gas and oil prices that dominated for the better part of 2022. The company saw a historic $55.7 billion in earnings while finishing the year with more than $29 billion in cash and equivalents.
Now, ExxonMobil wants to put those huge profits to use and is looking to pull off a blockbuster deal that would ensure they remain one of the industry powerhouses for years to come.
While Pioneer remains their primary target, they are also looking into several other companies of a similar profile.
Pioneer is the country’s third-largest shale oil producer on the country and the largest one in Permian Basin. The Irving, Texas, headquartered company finished 2022 with $8.4 billion in surplus cash, sending the majority of that amount to its shareholders through dividends and a stock buyback program.