Oct 23, 2023 - Energy & Environment

Chevron buys Hess for $60B as Big Oil deals reshape industry

Illustration of two hands toasting but with oil barrels instead of glasses

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. oil industry consolidation is suddenly happening at breakneck speed.

Driving the news: This morning Chevron announced an all-stock deal to buy Hess Corp. for $53 billion, with a total deal value of $60B including debt. It comes on the heels of Exxon's blockbuster Oct. 11 deal to buy Pioneer Natural Resources in an even larger transaction.

Why it matters: The deals (if regulators bless them) are reshaping the American industry as the two largest U.S. companies, flush with cash after a long stretch of high prices, snag giant independents.

State of play: Chevron's deal has big differences with Exxon's.

  • While Pioneer operates in the Permian Basin, Hess has operations in North Dakota's shale patch, as well as the offshore Gulf of Mexico.
  • It's a multinational player too, a huge part of the deal.
  • Hess has developments offshore Guyana — a major new oil frontier where Exxon is a major presence — and gas operations in the Gulf of Thailand.

The big picture: Exxon and Chevron are making big bets on robust and enduring oil and gas demand despite climate policies.

  • Chevron said the merged firm "is expected to grow production and free cash flow faster and for longer than Chevron's current five-year guidance."

What they're saying: "While Hess is based in the U.S., the real prize in the portfolio is Guyana where in less than a decade, the country has vaulted into one of the most important growth areas for non-OPEC oil production," Third Bridge analyst Peter McNally said in emailed remarks to reporters.

What we're watching: How much more consolidation looms.

The bottom line: Dominoes are falling.

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