ConocoPhillips in Advanced Talks to Buy Marathon Oil

© currahee_shutter / Adobe Stock
© currahee_shutter / Adobe Stock

ConocoPhillips is in advanced talks to buy Marathon Oil in an all-stock deal that could value the Houston-based company at a little over its $15 billion market value, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday citing people briefed on the matter.

Although a deal seemed to be imminent late on Tuesday night, there was still a risk of negotiations falling apart or a rival bidder gatecrashing Conoco's takeover plan, the report said.

Marathon Oil and ConocoPhillips did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comments.

The U.S. oil and gas industry went on a $250 billion buying spree in 2023 and the consolidation wave has continued into this year, but has drawn increased antitrust scrutiny.

Earlier this month, U.S. regulators gave the go-ahead to Exxon Mobil's N$60 billion purchase of Pioneer Natural Resources, but barred Pioneer's former CEO from Exxon's board on allegations he attempted to collude with OPEC to raise oil prices.

Oil companies Chevron and Occidental agreed to buy Hess and CrownRock, respectively, in 2023.

This year, Diamondback Energy signed a deal to acquire privately-held rival Endeavor Energy Partners in a $26 billion cash-and-stock deal.

Bloomberg News reported in October last year that Devon Energy had held preliminary talks about combining with Marathon Oil.

The Financial Times report said Wednesday that Conoco has been competing with Devon to acquire Marathon for several weeks.

Marathon Oil's first quarter oil production was down 2.7% to 181,000 barrels per day (bpd), compared with a year earlier.

(Reuters - Reporting by Gnaneshwar Rajan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Mrigank Dhaniwala)

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