ExxonMobil’s hunt for a fracking acquisition signals industry shift in the oil patch

(Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

ExxonMobil’s hunt for a blockbuster deal in U.S. shale could kick off a bonanza of deal-making in the oil patch as drillers look to put large war chests of cash to work, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

The oil giant has held preliminary talks with Pioneer Natural Resources Co., a Texas fracker with a roughly $52 billion market capitalization, about a potential acquisition. ExxonMobil, which has been on the prowl in the Permian Basin for months, has also discussed a potential deal with at least one other unnamed company.

ExxonMobil’s potential deal would send the strongest signal yet that drillers in the Permian, the hottest U.S. oil field, are set to bulk up through acquisitions. Oil companies are boasting healthy balance sheets that give them the means to shop for targets. Read the full story.