ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is reportedly close to finalizing an all-stock acquisition of Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), potentially valuing Marathon at over $15 billion, according to the Financial Times. Following this news, Marathon Oil’s shares surged by more than 4% in pre-market today.

Although a deal seemed likely, there remain potential risks, such as the possibility of negotiations falling through or a competing bid emerging.

The U.S. oil and gas industry, which saw $250 billion in acquisitions in 2023, continues to consolidate despite heightened antitrust scrutiny.
Recently, regulators approved Exxon Mobil’s $60 billion acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources, though they barred Pioneer’s former CEO from joining Exxon’s board due to allegations of collusion with OPEC to increase oil prices.

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