The heads of ExxonMobil and Chevron considered merging the two oil giants last year in a deal that may have been the largest corporate marriage ever, according to reports.
Exxon CEO Darren Woods and Chevron chief Mike Wirth discussed the megadeal after the start of the coronavirus outbreak that put both companies under massive financial pressure and drove oil prices to historic lows, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
The discussions are no longer active, but they were serious enough that some legal documents were drawn up for certain aspects of the talks, one source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
If the talks had continued, the deal would have combined the two biggest descendants of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil empire to create a titan potentially worth more than $350 billion, according to the Journal.
The merged company would also churn out about 7 million barrels of oil and gas a day, making it the world’s second-largest producer behind Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, the paper reported.
But an Exxon-Chevron tie-up would likely face significant hurdles under President Biden, who wants to combat climate change by making the US less dependent on oil and investing in renewable energy.
For instance, Biden revoked a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline on his first day in office and recently pledged to replace the US government’s vehicle fleet with electric cars.
Both Exxon and Chevron declined to comment to Reuters on the reported talks.
With Post wires