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Two new mergers in the US (and global) oil sector have just been announced. ExxonMobil is merging with Pioneer Natural and Chevron is buying Hess.

If you sort this list by revenues you will find ExxonMobil in the third place and Chevron in the 7th. First and second place taking into account only US companies. Therefore the impact on a market that already sees a strong concentration is relevant.

Did the anti-trust authorities make any comment on the announcements? What did US politicians say on the issue?

Update:

This question asked if the anti-trust authorities or any politician (actually I meant an elected official) expressed an opinion. It did not ask for the opinion of an anonimous user. Furthermore an opinion backed up by dressed up data is utterly useless. Please stick to the question, if none among anti-trust or elected politicians expressed any opinion an answer mentioning it is acceptable. It may be a sign that they are turning a blind eye.

BTW According to the data gathered from here the first four US companies account for more than 50% of the total revenue. In a such a big market which includes the US and a big chunk of the international market it is a sign that there is already a strong concentration. There is room to ask questions.

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  • Answer seems to be 'no' wrt regulators. Nov 10, 2023 at 12:09
  • Both pioneer and hess aren't even in the top 10 in the US. Why is this signficant?
    – whoisit
    Nov 10, 2023 at 22:34

1 Answer 1

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Not that Big a Change

A quick read of the wiki page suggests that Pioneer is the 15th largest US oil company, and Hess is further down the list. So there remain at least 14 "significant" US players.

Further, Exxon and Chevron will each grow their revenue by about 5% (assuming the total production / revenue doesn't change after the purchase.) 5% is certainly growth, but it's not that much growth in the grand scheme of things. I would assume regulators don't see this as a major change.

Peak Oil?

The number of new cars sold in the US in 2020-2023 is significantly less than 2017-2020. (sales cratered during COVID, and have returned to about 16 million a year, compared to 18 million pre-pandemic. Probably increased work from home has decreased vehicle demand.)

Simultaneously, sales of EVs have ballooned - from effectively 0% of new vehicles in 2016 to 8% of new vehicles in Q3 2023.

Combined, this probably means there are fewer ICE vehicles on the road in America today than there were in 2020. And we will probably never return to the previous highs, as EV sales accelerate.

It is possible that regulators believe the US is near peak oil demand and aren't interested in a fight about an industry is is going to change drastically over the next decade anyway.

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  • yeah, I thought the "peak oil" thing might attract downvotes
    – codeMonkey
    Nov 14, 2023 at 19:48

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