Exxon Mobil is in advanced talks to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources. With this deal, the American oil and gas producer would be valued at about $60 billion (€57 billion), as reported by Reuters.
The acquisition would be Exxon's biggest since its $81 billion deal for Mobil in 1998.
It would expand its footprint in one of the most lucrative regions of the US oil patch, the Permian Basin. Stretched across the states of Texas and New Mexico, it is the US energy industry's most coveted because of its relatively low cost to extract oil and gas.
Pioneer, which had a market value as of Thursday of $50 billion, is the third-largest producer of oil in the Permian basin after Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips.
If the negotiations conclude successfully, an agreement between Exxon and Pioneer could be reached in the coming days, said Reuters, according to three sources that asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
Largest US oil producer
Exxon, which has a market value of $436 billion, is the largest US oil producer with an average 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Last year it earned a record $55.7 billion thanks to high oil and gas prices.
Some of those profits have tapered off this year as energy prices, which surged after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have fallen over concerns about a global economic slowdown weighing on fuel demand.
Acquiring Pioneer would give Exxon more established oil-producing land it can rely on to increase production when needed, rather than risk its cash on the development of unproven acreage.
The potential deal is set to attract political and regulatory scrutiny, after the White House accused Exxon in February of achieving bumper profits at the expense of consumers.