ExxonMobil, Chevron CEOs talked merger after pandemic outbreak

ExxonMobil, Chevron CEOs talked merger after pandemic outbreak

Exxon and Chevron boast enormous oil and gas production assets both at home in the US and around the world, sizable refining and chemical operations, plus instantly recognizable retail brands.

If the talks had continued, the deal would have combined the two biggest descendants of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil empire to create a titan potentially worth more than $350 billion, according to the Journal. He hasn't been as vocal about antitrust matters, and the administration has yet to nominate the Justice Department's head of that division. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time, ' Biden said in October. General Motors last week said it would aim to stop selling vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel, which rely on oil, by 2035.

The shares of Exxon and Chevron nosedived past year, pummelled by fallout from the pandemic that decimated oil prices amid plunging demand. Both companies trace their lineage back to the mighty Standard Oil, the monopolistic oil producer run by John D. Rockefeller, which was broken up by the US government. It also posted losses in the first three quarters of 2020; fourth quarter results will be revealed on Tuesday.

Around that time, the shrinking demand for oil and gas placed both Chevron and Exxon in massive financial strain.

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The company unveiled plans for additional spending cuts of $3 billion in annual expenses expected by 2023, its latest belt-tightening move amid the industry-wide downturn.

Last year's Saudi-Russian oil price war, for instance, highlighted the vulnerability of US producers to foreign governments that can effectively dictate the price of crude by forcing energy companies they back to boost or cut output. They are considering putting together their oil companies and work to get back what they have lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Oil prices have rebounded this year after a brutal spring 2020 in which United States crude fell into negative territory for the first time. Prices have since rebounded to roughly $52 a barrel.

Exxon and Chevron declined to comment on the Dow Jones report.

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