When earnings season rolls around, which it now has with 1Q in the bag for most oil and gas companies, Wall Street analysts are nothing short of giddy to share their comparisons and contrasts among rivals following earnings reports. That’s what shareholders expect. But in the echelon of largest U.S. energy players, this exclusively translates to Exxon and Chevron—also ranked as fifth and seventh largest, respectively, in the world.

Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest from these two, both of which accounted for the bulk of last year’s multi-billion-dollar merger mania.  Helming these ginormous companies, Exxon CEO Darren Woods and Chevron head Mike Wirth are far from strangers. Back in 2021, the two discussed a possible coupling that would have created the largest merger ever. And why not? They work together on large projects across the world. But it wasn’t to be. So, each went about their way with Exxon last October picking up Pioneer Natural Resources for $59.5 billion to become the Permian’s largest operator, followed days later by Chevron snapping up Hess Corporation for $53 billion.

The latter deal rang loud cow bells for Exxon—the first and largest oil producer in the Magical Land of Guyana where oil flows like honey. Chevy’s Hess acquisition meant the two would meet again on shared territory—the nation’s two largest rivals at work in the world’s hottest play. We’ll tickle ourselves to assume Woods and Wirth shared double-secret phone calls upon Chevron’s deal, but nevertheless a huge, right-of-first-refusal conflict quickly emerged and now set for arbitration. Returning to Wall Street commentary, Exxon reigns with 1Q earnings of $8.2 billion. Chevron reports $5.5 billion. Together, they returned $12.8 billion to shareholders during the quarter. No one is sobbing. Work it out, guys.