Chevron buys Noble for $5 billion

Oil and gas operations Image: Noble Energy

Chevron will take over Noble Energy for $5 billion in the first big deal announced since the coronavirus pandemic shook the energy sector.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, Cal., has been shopping for assets since last year and with crude prices down more than 30 per cent this year, it jumped Monday with its all-stock offering for the independent Houston oil and gas driller.

Energy companies had been taking on enormous debt even before the pandemic with energy prices bouncing all over the place, and Noble is no exception. The total enterprise value of the deal is $13 billion, with Chevron assuming Noble's debt.

Based on Chevron's closing price on Friday, Noble Energy shareholders will receive 0.1191 shares of Chevron for each Noble Energy share.

Chevron has been in the hunt for major acquisition target and lost out last year when Occidental Petroleum made a $38 billion deal for one of them, Anadarko, even though Chevron is five times the size of Occidental.

It missed out on Occidental's valuable holdings in the Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico, but said at the time that it favoured discipline over “winning at any cost.”

Energy demand has bounced back as economies reopen globally. U.S. crude prices fell for four consecutive months to start the year, but have been recovering ground since and may have another positive month in July.

But surging cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the world's largest economy, is likely to hamstring an industry already hit hard by layoffs.

Chesapeake Energy, a shale drilling pioneer that was once one of the largest natural gas producers in the world, filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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