Chevron and Exxon discussed merger last year: reports

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A vehicle passes an Exxon Mobil Corp. gas station in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The CEOs of Chevron and ExxonMobil last year discussed the possibility of merging the two companies, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing unnamed people familiar with the talks.

The newspaper reported that Chevron CEO Michael Wirth and Exxon CEO Darren Woods spoke about the prospect after the Covid-19 pandemic began to negatively impact oil prices.

The talks are not ongoing and were described as preliminary, according to the Journal. Representatives from the two companies declined to comment. The talks were later reported by Reuters.

A merger between Chevron and Exxon would be among the largest in history, and would likely face antitrust scrutiny from President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice. Both companies descend from John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, which was broken up by the Supreme Court in 1911.

Chevron’s market cap is $164 billion, and Exxon’s is $189 billion, meaning that the combined company would be worth north of $350 billion. The combined firm would be the second largest oil and gas company in the world, after Saudi Aramco.

Oil prices have recovered much of their losses since cratering in March, though they have remained somewhat depressed amid a slower-than-expected vaccine roll out and worries of new coronavirus variants.

— CNBC’s Pippa Stevens contributed to this report.

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