ExxonMobil is nearing a $58bn stock deal to buy US shale oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources (Pioneer), reported Bloomberg, sources said.

The oil and gas major is in talks to pay over $250 per share for the Permian basin-focused Pioneer, the sources said.

An all-stock deal could be announced soon, they said, adding that no definitive agreement has been signed and the specifics may still change or the negotiations may fall apart.

If a deal is signed at $250 a share, it would represent a 16% premium over Pioneer’s closing price of $214.96 on 5 October 2023, which was before news of the talks between the two businesses broke.

At the price, Pioneer would at least be valued at $58bn.

The potential deal will bring two of the largest landowners in the Permian basin of Texas and New Mexico.

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With this deal, ExxonMobil will become by far the largest oil producer in the formation.

The Permian basin is said to be the most prolific oil patch in the US, with many untapped areas that can be brought online rapidly to help ExxonMobil cater to the global demand.

Independent producers such as Pioneer were responsible for the US shale boom, but many of these businesses failed over the recent decade’s numerous downturns.

For businesses such as ExxonMobil, the flexibility of shale is an appealing prospect given how unpredictable the medium-term oil demand is due to the energy transition.

If the deal goes through, it would be ExxonMobil’s biggest in two decades following its $75.3bn merger with Mobil in late 90s.

Representatives for both ExxonMobil and Pioneer refused to comment on the development.

As per the report, companies with solid financial standing, such as Chevron or Occidental Petroleum may express a similar interest in shale producers as a result of a Pioneer deal.

The implied total enterprise value of the deal, including net debt, is about $64.5 billion.