Fresh from the ongoing madness of merger mania comes yet another acquisition. This one, with a twist on the side and a hush-up to that scene-stealing Permian. Well, maybe.

Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest coupling taking shape in the Williston Basin, where Houston-based Chord Energy has snapped up Enerplus, perhaps climbing another rung on the Top Bakken Operators Ladder currently reigned by the ever-so Continental. In a cash-and-stock deal that values the newly combined company at $11 billion, Chord will operate 1.3 million net acres with 287 MBOED in production and inherit 32,000 net acres in the Marcellus. This news must’ve been a nice kick in the keister for Chord’s shareholders following yesterday’s 4Q earnings report that saw the company exceeding its high-end of guidance with 183.8 MBOED.

Now, about that twist on the side. Back on February 7, word was out hot and heavy that Okla. City-based Devon Energy was crushing bigtime on Enerplus and parachuting early into the bid process. A day later, ripped from the headlines, “Devon Energy Plans to Acquire Enerplus”. Well, this came as a bit of a head-scratcher given Devon’s 400,000 net acre position in the Permian Delaware—its largest revenue generator—and following the company’s November 3Q report that it planned to concentrate 2024 investments there. But the Bakken deal wasn’t to be. And maybe that’s a good thing.

While an acquisition of Enerplus would have doubled Devon’s 123,000 net acre Bakken position with plenty more greenbacks to spare in Perm Town, sometimes a loss has a way of turning into a much bigger win on the other side.