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Chevron's $53 Billion Purchase of Hess Under Siege from Rival Oil Titans
Chevron's $53 Billion Purchase of Hess Under Siege from Rival Oil Titans

Chevron's $53 Billion Purchase of Hess Under Siege from Rival Oil Titans

  • 28-Feb-2024 11:36 AM
  • Journalist: Kim Chul Son

On Monday, Chevron made public the potential hurdles facing its proposed acquisition of fellow American company Hess for a substantial $53 billion, highlighting the possibility of interference from rival petroleum giants in controlling a vital oil asset. In a filing with securities regulators, Chevron acknowledged the scenario wherein Hess might persist as an independent entity, while emphasizing its conviction that such an outcome is improbable to significantly materialize.

The crux of the concern lies in Hess's 30 percent ownership interest in the Stabroek Block, an offshore oilfield situated in Guyana, which serves as a pivotal catalyst for the acquisition. Operated by the US-based ExxonMobil, holding a substantial 45 percent stake, the project also entails the participation of Chinese firm Cnooc, which retains the remaining 25 percent interest. Notably, the existing operational agreement incorporates a provision that grants the incumbent partners, namely ExxonMobil and Cnooc, a "right of first refusal" to procure the Guyana asset.

Both Chevron and Hess, prominent American multinational energy corporations, contend that this "right of first refusal" is inapplicable, drawing attention to the structural dynamics inherent in the proposed merger and the stipulations outlined within the Stabroek partnership. However, following the announcement of the Chevron-Hess agreement in October, ExxonMobil and Cnooc voiced their dissent, challenging this interpretation.

Chevron further expounded that despite the divergence in perspectives, constructive dialogues have been ongoing among Hess, Chevron, Exxon, and Cnooc concerning the terms associated with the Stabroek Block. It expressed optimism that these deliberations would culminate in a mutually agreeable resolution that would not jeopardize, hinder, or impede the completion of the merger. Additionally, Chevron indicated that in the eventuality of an inability to reach a satisfactory consensus through negotiations, either Chevron or Hess retains the prerogative to resort to arbitration to address the deadlock.

Chevron Corporation, an American multinational energy conglomerate, primarily focuses on operations within the oil and gas sector. As the second-largest direct descendant of Standard Oil, it was initially established as the Standard Oil Company of California, often abbreviated as Socal or CalSo. The company's headquarters are situated in San Ramon, California, and it maintains a presence across over 180 countries globally.

Within the realm of oil and gas, Chevron boasts a vertically integrated structure, engaging in a spectrum of activities including hydrocarbon exploration, production, refining, marketing, and transportation. Additionally, the company is involved in chemicals manufacturing and sales, as well as power generation, reflecting its diverse portfolio and multifaceted approach to the energy industry.

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