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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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Exclusive: ConocoPhillips weighs CrownRock bid to challenge rivals

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According to individuals familiar with the subject, as industry restructuring picks up steam, ConocoPhillips (COP.N) is reportedly exploring a bid for CrownRock LP, an energy producer in the Permian region of west Texas.

According to the sources, Houston-centered Conoco has indicated an interest in participating in the sale process for privately held CrownRock, valued between $10 billion and $15 billion. Conoco is the largest oil and gas producer in the United States, behind Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N). According to two individuals, CrownRock’s investment bankers have requested that interested parties make initial proposals by next week.

According to the sources, Diamondback Energy (FANG.O), Devon Energy (DVN.N), Marathon Oil (MRO.N), and Continental Resources are all examining possible acquisition offers for CrownRock.

The sources warned that no contract with these firms is certain and that more bids may surface. They asked not to be named since the situation is private.

Marathon Oil, Devon, and Conoco all refused to comment. Requests for comments from Diamondback, Continental, and CrownRock were not answered. This month, with Exxon completing a $60 billion acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources Co (PXD.N) and Chevron inking a $53 billion deal to acquire Hess Corp (HES.N), pressure mounted on oil and gas companies to expand through acquisitions.

The Permian is the greatest oil-producing region in the United States, including the northern portion of the Midland basin in Texas, where CrownRock possesses around 86,000 net acres. Lime Rock Partners, a private equity firm, supports the corporation, headed by millionaire businessman Timothy Dunn from Texas.

In the second quarter, Conoco emerged as the biggest Permian producer, trailing only Pioneer and EOG Resources (EOG.N). Diamondback and Devon came in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Last week, Bloomberg News revealed that Devon was considering bidding for CrownRock and that the company had also had initial discussions about partnering with Marathon.

Devon and Marathon negotiated a contract in the summer, according to the people who talked with Reuters. The sources also stated that the firm’s inability to agree on conditions caused them to cease discussions in August.


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