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December 15, 2009

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Home » Business » Energy

Exxon to buy XTO for US$31b

EXXON Mobil will buy XTO Energy in an all-stock deal worth US$31 billion as the oil giant moved aggressively yesterday to capitalize on the growing supply of natural gas at home.

The deal could signal a new rush to own natural gas assets by major integrated producers, and perhaps the start of a significant consolidation in the energy industry.

"Exxon is the group leader, and it sets the trend. I would expect more acquisitions in the next three to six months," said Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst for Oppenheimer.

Exxon is closely watched in the industry and an acquisition like XTO could prompt other companies like Royal Dutch Shell, BP or Chevron to move.

Potential targets include big natural gas companies like Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and Anadarko, Gheit said.

XTO shows the priority that major producers are giving to natural gas as a fuel source. XTO claims about 45 trillion cubic feet of gas, much of it trapped in tight formations known as shale.


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