While the window may be closing on more gazillion-dollar deals to be had in the Permian, save for Exxon breathing dragon fire on Oxy with a Mewbourne Oil and Gas chaser, the next wave of land grabs could soon emerge from the noncore assets inherited with those mergers. Nothing like the grand opening of a fresh meat market for smaller independents looking to build their positions. Something we’ll keep a watch on.

Meanwhile, Reese Energy Consulting today is eye-peeled on Okla. City-based Devon Energy, whose wingspan covers the Permian Delaware, Eagle Ford, Anadarko, Powder River, and Bakken. Back in October—smack dab in the middle of Mega Merger Mania (M3)—Devon was rumored to be weighing Permian candidates that included Marathon Oil and CrownRock to scale up its shale resources. The company’s Delaware production, set across 400,000 net acres, is by far its largest revenue driver. Devon then fell quiet after Oxy gobbled up CrownRock in December, the end of last year’s $159 billion M3. But no one said the Permian was the extent of Devon’s wandering eye to build scale.

Enter Calgary-based Enerplus, which operates 235,600 net acres in the Bakken and 32,500 net acres in the Marcellus, with combined production of 103.5 MBOED. Devon is now said to be swapping spit with the idea of an Enerplus acquisition that would not only double its current Bakken position of 123,000 net acres, but still leave the wallet open for other Permian opportunities that further expand its multi-basin wingspan.