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Pioneers 6.4 Billion Deal for DoublePoint Accelerates U.S. Shale Oil Consolidation

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Reuters U.S. oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources agreed on Thursday to acquire privatelyheld rival DoublePoint Energy for about 6.4 billion, speeding up a consolidation of shale oil producers.

Oilfield rollups have accelerated this year as energy prices recover following last years coronavirusdriven market crash. Companies with strong balance sheets have been snapping up debtladen and privatelyheld operators, and promising to focus on profit over volume growth.

Acquisitions of fastgrowth oil companies like DoublePoint Energy by mature operators will allay concerns that U.S. shale could again oversupply the market and crash prices, said Andrew Dittmar, an Enverus merger and acquisitions analyst.

The deal, which Reuters first reported, is Pioneers second big purchase and the fourth multibillion shale deal this year. In January, Pioneer closed its 4.5 billion, allstock purchase of Parsley Energy, giving it one of the largest positions in the Permian Basin, the top U.S. shale field.

In January, ConocoPhillips completed its 9.7 billion purchase of Concho Resources, and Devon Energy wrapped up its 5.8 billion purchase of WPX Energy. Last year, Chevron Corp bought Noble Energy for about 12.1 billion in stock and debt.

DoublePoint Energy will add 97,000 acres to Pioneers holdings in the Permian Basin. The driller was formed in 2018 by serial entrepreneurs Cody Campbell and John Sellers and backed by Apollo Global Management Inc and Quantum Energy Partners.

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