Fri, Mar. 13, 3:58 PM
- Whiting Petroleum (WLL +3.1%) spikes on a Bloomberg report suggesting Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.2%) could be interested in the company; trading is now halted for volatility.
- Continental Resources (CLR -4.8%), Hess (HES +0.4%) and Statoil (STO +1.4%) also are reportedly looking at WLL, according to the report, and WLL has set up a data room for potential buyers to evaluate the company’s financial information and asked them to submit bids next week.
- WLL is the largest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, and the four rumored suitors already are among the 10 largest holders of acreage in the play.
- WLL had been down all day on an earlier report that it was considering selling off pieces rather than the whole company.
Thu, Feb. 12, 2:14 PM
- If Exxon Mobil (XOM +1.6%) decides to go hunting for struggling energy peers with shrinking cash flow - as it did five years ago when it acquired XTO Resources for $25B, during an energy rout worse than today's - it would need to go big or not go at all in order to meaningfully boost its oil and gas reserves, WSJ writes as it discusses BP (BP +2.1%) as a potential takeover target.
- BP “is the obvious fit says Wolfe Research's Paul Sankey; buying BP, which is still dealing with the fallout of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, “would close out a damaged brand at a terrific price” and bolster XOM’s capacity to find new sources of oil and gas, he says.
- Other potentially attractive targets singled out by analysts include a smaller tier of companies such as Anadarko (APC +1.9%) and BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY), which have discovered huge deposits of oil and gas but may lack the cash flow to develop them quickly.
Mon, Feb. 2, 6:24 PM
- Canadian Oil Sands (OTCQX:COSWF) jumped 20% today in Toronto on rumors it could be a takeover target by one of its partners in Syncrude Canada.
- Canadian Oil Sands is the largest shareholder in Syncrude, with a 37% stake, but larger companies such as Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT:IMO) also own major stakes in the venture; the rumors appeared to take flight as IMO parent company Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) signaled today that it would be acquisitive in the current low oil price environment.
- FirstEnergy Capital analyst Michael Dunn says a Canadian Oil Sands “takeout by another Syncrude partner is a distinct possibility should the shares continue to languish."
Fri, Jan. 2, 2:55 PM
- Europe largely missed out on last year's $383B in oil and gas sector M&A activity, but Europe likely will get a bigger piece of the action in 2015 if current oil prices persist, according to Reuters' Fiona Maharg-Bravo.
- Net debt at smaller explorers such as Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF, OTCPK:TUWOY), Premier Oil (OTC:PMOIF), Afren (OTCPK:AFRNF) and EnQuest (OTC:ENQUF) could all reach 3x EBITDA if oil remains at $60/bbl through 2015, Barclays estimates.
- BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY) has long been a target, and the new CEO starts in March; BP faces big liabilities in the Gulf of Mexico and volatility in Russia, it’s not clear if Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) will make a move, while Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and other U.S. majors could be tempted.
Dec. 8, 2014, 12:30 PM
- M&A likely will become a bigger theme in the energy exploration and production sector in 2015, and Exxon Mobil (XOM -2%) is among companies rumored to be headed for a deal.
- XOM is said to be interested in BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY); with XOM's long-term growth plans in Russia at risk in today’s environment, the company could use some new, exciting opportunities, and BG’s Brazilian assets or an E&P company’s U.S. shale prospects would fit the bill, WSJ's Liam Denning says.
- XOM may be spooked by its 2010 deal for XTO Energy, which helped cut its annual return on capital employed to 18% last year from 34% in 2008; BG's return on capital last year was ~10%.
- With XTO’s legacy still apparent, Denning says XOM needs a clear bargain price to sell a strategic deal to investors but the dismal outlook for oil prices could make it easier to do as next year unfolds.
- Earlier: Low price oil could lead to big mergers
Dec. 3, 2014, 7:58 AM
- The plunge in oil prices has erased more than half of Tullow Oil’s (OTCPK:TUWLF, OTCPK:TUWOY) market value since June, and Bloomberg reports that management is now concerned the company could be vulnerable to a takeover approach by a larger oil and gas producer.
- Tullow offers “a significant operating position that would not look out of place in the portfolio of a larger company,” says Societe Generale's David Mirzai, adding that the drop in oil prices “would certainly make it a lot easier to win the investor base around than in previous years.”
- Total (NYSE:TOT), Cnooc (NYSE:CEO) and Exxon (NYSE:XOM) would be among logical bidders since they’ve expressed interest in African assets before, BMO says, adding that a buyer would not need to contend with obstacles such as a poison pill or dual-class stock structure.
Jul. 14, 2014, 2:21 PM
- Whiting Petroleum's (WLL +7.4%) $6B buyout of Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG +5.1%) is renewing investor attention on independent energy firms with operations in the Bakken Shale, especially those significantly owned by hedge funds; Paulson & Co. is the single biggest owner of KOG stock, with just under 10% of shares outstanding as of the last filing date.
- While many of the largest Bakken producers are huge companies or parts of huge companies - Hess (NYSE:HES), EOG, Statoil (NYSE:STO), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), XTO Energy (NYSE:XOM) - a few small and mid-cap independent players show hedge fund interest, CNBC's Brian Sullivan writes.
- The single biggest holder of Oasis Petroleum (OAS +0.5%) also is John Paulson's hedge fund, which owns 9.9M shares (~9.8% of shares outstanding), Jana Partners owns 16M-plus shares in QEP Resources (QEP +1.4%), and WPX Energy (WPX +1.1%) has substantial hedge fund ownership.
Dec. 18, 2013, 6:26 PM
- Anadarko Petroleum's (APC) legal troubles likely haven't tarnished its allure for investors - instead, it has helped make APC $9B cheaper, and more appealing for a buyout, Bloomberg reports.
- APC may be at the top of the list for multinational oil companies seeking purchases to turn around declining production, analysts say; a buyer willing to shell out $40B plus a premium would get a presence in fields where few big energy companies have exposure: the Niobrara formation in Colorado, Texas’ Eagle Ford shale basin, and offshore Africa.
- APC would be an especially good fit for Exxon (XOM) or Chevron (CVX), Oppenheimer's Fadel Gheit says, although it's hard to see how a deal could be serious without a resolution to the Tronox lawsuit, which could leave APC on the hook for as much as $14B in environmental cleanup and health claims.
Nov. 28, 2013, 4:34 AM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM) will today hand over a 25% stake in Iraq's West Qurna-1 oilfield project to PetroChina (PTR), Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy says. Exxon agreed to sell the holding in August.
- However, no mention was made of Indonesia's Pertamina, which is buying a 10% interest from Exxon. The latter owned 60% before the deals were agreed.
- Exxon is remaining the operator of the field.
Nov. 19, 2013, 2:26 AM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM) has agreed to sell its majority stakes in Hong Kong electricity provider Castle Peak and Hong Kong Pumped Storage Development for a total of $3.4B.
- Exxon is selling a 30% stake in Castle Peak to CLP Holdings (CLPHY), which already owns 40%, for HK$12B ($1.6B), and another 30% to state-owned China Southern Grid, also for a reported HK$12B.
- In addition, CLP is buying a 51% holding in Pumped Storage Development for HK$2B.
- The Castle Peak deal comes after a over a year and a half of on-and-off talks between the sides and a failed auction by Exxon to sell the holding.
Nov. 6, 2013, 10:44 AM| Comment!
Sep. 20, 2013, 2:11 PM
- A rumor making the rounds today is a purported interest by Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.2%) in a takeover of BP (BP +0.5%).
- Such gossip is not new, the Telegraph points out; following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, BP frequent was rumored to be vulnerable to a takeover, with XOM named as a potential predator.
- As far-fetched as a deal sounds - why would XOM or anyone else want the aggravation? - BP shares are higher in a weak market.
Aug. 30, 2013, 3:48 PM
- Apache (APA +9.2%) may have "knocked it out of the park" with its sale of a third of its Egypt oil and gas assets to Sinopec (SNP -1.2%) for $3.1B (I, II), but the reaction toward SNP is more ambiguous.
- The deal, China's biggest investment in the Middle East to date, shows a continued global search for energy and resources to feed an economy growing at a 7%-plus annual rate and a higher tolerance for risk than its western counterparts; note that PetroChina (PTR) reportedly is in talks to acquire 25% of Exxon's (XOM) West Qurna-1 oilfield in Iraq.
- The deal also could provide a boost for other energy producers with significant operations in the region; Occidental Petroleum (OXY -0.2%) produces ~37% of its total output in the Middle East and North Africa, and is thought to be looking to sell all or part of those assets.
Aug. 15, 2013, 3:59 PM
- Gulf Keystone (GUKYF.PK, GFKSY.PK), sitting on Iraqi's Kurdistan's giant Shaikan discovery that could produce 250K bbl/day by 2018, is seen as a takeover target as the world’s biggest oil companies look for untapped fields.
- Gulf Keystone has spent $780M so far toward completion of a pipeline for direct exports to Turkey; analysts say offers could come soon because the new pipeline may boost the company's value by 40%, and a ruling is expected in a London lawsuit brought by a former associate claiming 30% of the pipeline.
- Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX) or an Asian national oil company are considered candidates to snap up the company.
Aug. 8, 2013, 8:12 AM
- ConocoPhillips (COP) agrees to sell its 100% interest in the 226K-acre Clyden oil sands leasehold to Imperial Oil (IMO) and ExxonMobil (XOM) for ~$720M.
- Clyden is located near the southern edge of the Athabasca oil sands and south of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
- COP expects to record a ~$450M after-tax gain, which will be recognized upon closing anticipated later in Q3.
- Including this deal, COP has announced expected proceeds of ~$13.5B from the sale of non-strategic assets as part of its 2012-13 asset disposition program.
Aug. 6, 2013, 7:56 AM
- China National Petroleum (PTR) already spent more money this year on energy assets than any other global producer, and oil and gas fields controlled by Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Rosneft (RNFTF.PK) may be next, Bloomberg speculates.
- CNPC is ramping up deals to make up for lost ground after Sinopec (SNP) and Cnooc (CEO) outspent it by $50B on overseas transactions in the five years through 2012.
- CNPC’s success with mature fields makes an XOM asset in Iraq a target, while a supply agreement with Rosneft may lead to deals with the Russian producer.
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Exxon Mobil Corporation is engaged in energy, involving exploration for, and production of, crude oil and natural gas, manufacture of petroleum products and transportation and sale of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.
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