Exxon, Chevron CEOs discussed merger -sources

It would’ve been the biggest corporate marriage of all time – a $350 billion merger between oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron. Sources say CEOs of the two oil giants talked in early 2020 about combining their two companies.

Those discussions didn’t lead to a deal. But they indicate just how much pressure the two companies faced as the health crisis slammed oil demand, sending crude futures into negative territory in April. A Saudi-Russia price war also caused the value of oil to crater.

A source said the CEOs sought massive cost cuts to help their companies weather the market downturn. After the talks bore no fruit, Chevron went on to buy oil producer Noble Energy for $5 billion.

A proposed merger would’ve faced an intense antitrust review by Justice officials.

Exxon and Chevron declined to comment. The White House and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shares of both companies fell in early trading Monday.