ExxonMobil has agreed to acquire rival oil exploration firm XTO Energy, in an all-stock transaction valued at $41 billion, the companies said Dec. 14. The biggest U.S. oil group said the deal would "enhance ExxonMobil's position in the development of unconventional natural gas and oil resources."
"XTO is a leading U.S. unconventional natural gas producer, with an outstanding resource base, strong technical expertise and highly skilled employees," said Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil's CEO "XTO's strengths, together with ExxonMobil's advanced R&D and operational capabilities, global scale and financial capacity, should enable development of additional supplies of unconventional oil and gas resources, benefiting consumers both here in the United States and around the world."
XTO has rights to some 45 trillion cubic feet of gas including shale gas, tight gas, coal bed methane and shale oil. These will complement ExxonMobil's holdings in the United States, Canada, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Argentina.
The deal, one of the biggest of 2009, has been approved by the boards of both firms and requires XTO stockholder approval and regulatory clearance.
Company officials hope to close the deal in the second quarter of 2010 and then establish a new upstream organization to manage production of unconventional resources and use of new oil exploration technology.
ExxonMobil is among the world's largest publicly traded firms and has posted record earnings for a corporation over the past two years, with 2008 profits of over $45 billion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009