Why ExxonMobil Is So Excited About Its Nearly $70 Billion Acquisition Spree

ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) has been busy this year. The oil giant has agreed to acquire Denbury Resources (NYSE: DEN) and Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) for nearly $70 billion in total.

It's elated to bring those companies into the fold. CEO Darren Woods discussed why Exxon is so excited about those deals on the third-quarter conference call.

A two-for-one special

Woods noted that the company's dual deals for Denbury and Pioneer "are great examples of the "and" equation, meeting the world's needs for energy and essential products and reducing emissions." The two oil companies will increase Exxon's ability to supply the world with low-cost energy. On top of that, the deals will enhance Exxon's ability to reduce emissions.

That latter aspect was a key driver of the Denbury deal. Woods commented:

Acquiring Denbury strengthens our position to economically reduce emissions in hard-to-decarbonize industries, which today have limited practical options. We see the potential to drive strong returns with the capacity to reduce the nation's carbon emissions by 100 million tons per year. That's 20 times our current CO2 offtake agreements with CF Industries, Linde, and Nucor, which, by themselves, could reduce CO2 emissions by an amount equivalent to replacing 2 million cars with EVs, roughly the same number of electric vehicles currently on U.S. roads.

Denbury provides Exxon with the country's largest owned and operated carbon dioxide pipeline network at 1,300 miles, including about 925 miles in the Gulf Coast. It also has 10 strategically located carbon dioxide sequestration sites in that region. This system will enhance Exxon's carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) deployment in the region.

In addition, Denbury produces oil and gas in the Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain regions. It has over 200 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) reserves and produces about 47,000 BOE per day. That output will provide Exxon with immediate cash flow as it builds out a CCS business with Denbury's assets.

A needle-mover in all aspects

The Pioneer acquisition also solves the "and" equation. Woods commented:

This combination will further strengthen our already advantaged upstream portfolio and create significant value for the shareholders of both companies. Together, we will recover more resources more efficiently and with a lower environmental impact. We plan to accelerate Pioneer's Permian net-zero ambition by 15 years and fully leverage their advances in water recycling.

The main draw of Pioneer is its massive resource base. The merger will more than double Exxon's acreage position in the low-cost Permian Basin, growing the oil giant's recoverable resources to 16 billion BOE. The deal will also more than double Exxon's production from the region to 1.3 million BOE per day. Given its enormous resource position, Exxon expects to grow its combined output in the Permian to 2 million BOE per day by 2027.

That greater scale should save Exxon money over time. Senior Vice President Neil Chapman noted on the call, "We expect synergies of approximately $1 billion before tax annually beginning in the second year post-closing and an average of about $2 billion per year over the next decade, driving double-digit returns." These synergies will come from optimizing development to reduce drilling costs and improve recoverable resources.

ExxonMobil also sees the opportunity to cut Pioneer's emissions more rapidly by leveraging its expertise. It expects to achieve net zero emissions from Pioneer's assets by 2035, 15 years ahead of schedule. The oil giant plans to utilize the same aggressive strategy it's deploying across its existing portfolio by applying industry-leading new technologies to cut emissions.

$70 billion well spent

Exxon's deals for Denbury and Pioneer Natural Resources will materially move the needle for the oil giant in the coming years. They'll both help it meet global energy supply needs and reduce emissions. They could also create significant value for shareholders over the long term.

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Matthew DiLallo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Linde Plc. The Motley Fool recommends Pioneer Natural Resources. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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