I have decided this will be “energy week” on the blog. I have a total four posts in mind including yesterday’s about Exxon’s decision to buy XTO Energy. I have reiterated what many people have said, that Exxon may have started a chain reaction of rather large energy mergers. Is there a precedent for such a run on quality energy assets? Absolutely.
Consider the period from 1998 to 2001, the last large energy consolidation. Large energy companies have a history of “me-too” transactions in order to avoid falling behind the competition in terms of size and scope of energy producing properties. Take a look at how many mega mergers were announced between 1998 and 2001:
- Exxon buys Mobil
- Conoco buys Phillips
- BP buys Amoco
- Chevron buys Texaco
Many energy industry insiders are thinking we could see a repeat of this now that Exxon Mobil, a conservative deal maker (they have not done a large deal since Mobil), has gotten the ball rolling.
So which targets are most likely to be gobbled up first? Interestingly, I have more ofÂ a strong view on which firms likely will not be sold in the short term. More details on those later this week.