“Survivor Permian” might not be a reality TV show, but the growing parade of competitors to lock up more size and scale has certainly turned popcorn worthy now with one contestant also considered a buy target.
Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest episode unfolding in the nation’s most prolific oil basin, where the $60 billion Exxon-Pioneer merger earlier this month seemingly fired the starting gun. This week’s Chevron-Hess acquisition, with no Permian assets tied to the deal itself, has further added octane to the race for at least one package up for grabs.
Joining the contenders for Midland, Texas-based CrownQuest are Continental Resources, Marathon Oil, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and most recent entrants Diamondback—a potential Permian prize itself—and ConocoPhillips. Devon Energy last week was said to be weighing prospective merger candidates, including CrownQuest. Bids are expected over the next two weeks and could reach as high as $15 billion for 86,000 net acres in the Northern Midland, 15 years of drilling inventory, 1,564 operating wells, and 112 MBPD in production.
Should Conoco score the winning bid, it would mark the company’s largest Permian purchase to date following its $9.7 billion acquisition in 2020 of Concho Resources and Shell’s assets in 2021 for $9.5 billion. But it may be worth every acre and barrel. The Exxon-Pioneer merger toppled Conoco from its reining post as the Permian’s largest producer to second largest.