(Bloomberg) – Despite the widespread ink on climate change and the global energy transition, the world's largest energy companies are focusing on the origin of the phenomenon: American oil.
The acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. by Chevron Corp., worth $ 33 billion, will make the US company the world's largest producer of Permian dusty plains by giving it control of an oil-rich region twice as big as Los Angeles.
The deal, the largest in the industry for four years, fueling speculation about what rival rivals Exxon Mobil Corp. will do. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc and what other Permian operators are planning. In addition, it makes the booming oil zone in western Texas and New Mexico the most dynamic force that is currently shaping the global energy market. Production in this country is expected to increase by several million barrels in the coming years, which means that global producers can not afford to ignore it.
"This is a strong message that one of the largest Permian players wants to become even bigger," Noah Barrett, who helps manage $ 328 billion at Janus Capital Management in Denver. "The only way to do that now is through M & A. Mergers and Acquisitions teams from other integrated companies certainly fine-tune their pencils."
The Chevron-Anadarko merger represents a remarkable turnaround from a year ago. Emerging from the worst price collapse in a generation, oil companies have always pledged capital discipline and vowed never to repeat the excessive spending at the top of almost every previous price cycle.
The humility found seemed to hit the right tone, as the industry was facing growing pressure from politicians, lobbyists and shareholders to act on climate change. Shell announced this year that it wants to become the largest energy company in the world. BP Plc accelerates gas production. According to its director, Bob Dudley, it is essential to replace coal, a dirtier source of energy.
But after half a decade of cuts and a Brent crude price up 33% this year, Big Oil is gaining confidence and is considering growth more favorably. Exxon expands its expenses to more than $ 30 billion a year, while BP and Total SA also have ambitious plans for new projects.
American shale attracts more investment dollars than renewable energy, but so far it has been dominated by domestic players. Chevron, a small Permian player just a few years ago, is about to become the first producer and holder of the basin area once the agreement with Anadarko is finalized later this year.
Total has little presence on the American continent, neither Equinor ASA nor Eni SpA. BP is the only European oil company to have spent significantly on American shale. It disbursed $ 10.5 billion for BHP Billiton Ltd.'s onshore exploration activities. Last year. Shell is negotiating for the acquisition of Endeavor Energy Resources LP, a closely related Permian specialist, sources close to the record said in February.
"Major record companies are realizing the reality and find that it is the best capital allocation," said Michael Roomberg, a fund manager at Miller / Howard Investments Inc., who manages 5 billions of dollars. "Given the feeling of space, it's negative. Any significant E & P in the Permian is potentially on the restricted list to be removed. "
To contact the editors in charge of this story: James Herron at [email protected], Simon Casey, David Marino
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