Houston-based Oxy has put a holiday bow and name tag on a Christmas gift to itself that will add 86,000 acres, 170 MBOED, and 15 years of drilling inventory to its Permian collection. The $12 billion deal for CrownRock marks the second substantial acquisition by Oxy since its death-defying $38 billion purchase in 2019 of Anadarko.

That same year another Permian independent found itself the subject of courtship by two major suitors with bids of $15 billion. Their advances were quickly rebuffed with a not-now, not-ever, no-sale response. But time and circumstance have a way of challenging even the most hell-or-high-water decisions.

Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news from Midland, Texas-based Endeavor Energy Partners, one of the last privately-owned Permian strongholds led by a wildcatter known to take no guff. Over 45 years, Autry Stephens built one of the largest land positions in the core of the Midland—350,000 net acres across six counties producing 331 MBOED. Now at age 85, Stephens has looked time and circumstance in the eye and what he sees is the opportunity of his lifetime.

Endeavor is now exploring a sale that could fetch nearly double that of four years ago. While the $30 billion sticker price may be limited to the thickest of thick wallets, the company camp reports multiple queries from prospective buyers. This, on the heels of recent mega mergers that have lit a fire in producer bellies to add more production and fatten inventory. For Autry Stephens, his decision to sell the family business he birthed and nurtured paints a poignant picture of booms and busts that pre-date the shale era and a most extraordinary rise that followed to beat all odds.