Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods

Exxon Mobil’s Acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources Approved

U.S. regulators approved Exxon Mobil‘s $60 billion acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources but blocked Pioneer’s former CEO, Scott Sheffield, from joining Exxon’s board due to allegations of colluding with OPEC to raise oil prices.

Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated that Sheffield coordinated with U.S. shale oil producers to restrict output and boost energy prices. This was allegedly done to align oil production across the Permian Basin with OPEC+. Kyle Mach, deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, emphasized that Sheffield’s past conduct warranted keeping him away from Exxon’s boardroom.

Pioneer denied any intent to circumvent competition laws, stating that Sheffield’s communications were not meant to do so. The FTC’s approval of the deal, despite the controversy, is a relief for other energy companies with mergers under antitrust reviews.

Exxon, set to close the Pioneer purchase, will become the largest oil producer in the Permian Basin. The company confirmed it would not add Sheffield to its board and stated that the FTC investigation raised no concerns about its business practices.

The agreement allows Exxon to focus on a dispute with Chevron over its proposed acquisition of Hess Corp, which owns a stake in a key Exxon joint venture in Guyana.

Sheffield, who retired as Pioneer’s CEO on Dec. 31, was scheduled to join Exxon’s board but will not do so now. Pioneer expressed surprise at the FTC’s complaint but expressed eagerness to close the deal, emphasizing that Sheffield’s public remarks on the industry should not disqualify him from a board seat.

The FTC’s complaint highlighted Sheffield’s comments on the dangers of higher shale output, which it viewed as part of a scheme to reduce output. Sheffield’s advocacy for production cuts was consistent with former President Trump’s efforts to support U.S. oil jobs.

The FTC’s concerns about collaboration between OPEC and American oil firms reflect a fear of lower production growth rates, which could lead to higher energy prices. Sheffield was among the executives attending near-annual dinners with OPEC members, discussing oil market dynamics and other relevant topics.

In a 2023 interview, Sheffield mentioned hosting Saudi Aramco officials to explain his company’s operations. Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company and an OPEC member, has shown interest in developing its shale reserves.

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Pooja Chauhan: Your Source for Entertainment and Box Office News Pooja Chauhan is a passionate writer and dedicated journalist specializing in delivering the latest updates and insights from the world of entertainment and box office. With a keen eye for detail and a deep love for cinema, Pooja brings her readers accurate and engaging coverage of all things related to movies, celebrities, and the dynamic world of showbiz. Her commitment to keeping her audience well-informed and entertained makes her a valuable voice in the realm of entertainment journalism. When she's not busy uncovering the latest scoops, Pooja enjoys exploring classic films and indulging in creative writing." Contact us: admin@bollywoodfever.co.in

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