Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the C-suite when “advanced talks” of a potential merger conclude with a final agreement. There’s a certain romanticism to the dance—at least one can envision—when negotiations are at last settled, and a hard-fought deal is ultimately reached that promises more bounties ahead. The likes of such we’ve seen over the last year that’s brought rivals together in the name of basin and consolidation.  

Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest dance between Houston-based ConocoPhillips (COP) and Marathon Oil (MRO), perhaps the last of the mega mergers to be seen on the E&P side following 2023’s $250 billion in acquisitions now spilling over into 2024. COP will acquire MRO in an all-stock deal valued at $22.5 billion, beating out Okla. City-based Devon Energy reported to also have held a Marathon dance card.

Among its sprawling domestic and international assets, COP’s gravy train lies in the Lower 48 where its primary focus lies in the Permian, Eagle Ford, and Bakken. The company holds formidable positions in the Midland and Delaware, bringing in 736 MBOED in 1Q, and ranking among the basin’s top performers. MRO, which also operates sizeable assets in the Eagle Ford, Anadarko, and Equitorial Guinea, lays claim to 800 acres and 580 MBOED in the Northern Delaware. The Conoco-Marathon coupling will make COP the Permian’s third-largest producer, the Eagle Ford’s largest producer, and the nation’s largest independent oil and gas company. May the dances continue.