Chevron said Monday that it has reached a deal to acquire rival oil producer Hess Corporation for $53 billion in stock, the second major fossil fuel merger announced this month following a record-hot September.
Chevron is currently the second-largest oil and gas producer in the United States, and the Hess purchase is expected to boost the company’s output by 10% overall. Chevron said in a statement that its drilling operations in the Permian Basin, a massive carbon bomb in the U.S. Southwest, will benefit from the acquisition.
Bloomberg noted that the acquisition will give “Chevron a significant foothold in Guyana, the South American country that is one of the world’s newest oil producers.”
Chevron made the merger deal public less than two weeks after ExxonMobil, the largest fossil fuel giant in the U.S., agreed to acquire the fracking giant Pioneer Natural Resources for nearly $60 billion in stock. Both Exxon and Chevron posted record profits last year.
“These Big Oil Frankensteins are a direct threat to our climate, democracy, and economy,” Jamie Henn, director of Fossil Free Media, wrote in a social media post on Monday.
“The industry is consolidating power to drill as much as possible and stop all climate progress,” Henn added, urging Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan to “intervene.”
“Our leaders must stand up to these polluting industries, halt all new fossil fuel projects, and implement policies that phase out dangerous fossil fuels for good.”
Cassidy DiPaola, campaign manager for Fossil Free Media, warned in a statement that Chevron’s deal to purchase Hess is “yet another concerning sign that the fossil fuel industry has no intention of slowing down, despite increasingly dire warnings from climate scientists.”
“Much like Exxon’s massive acquisition earlier this month, Chevron is betting billions on the belief that it can continue drilling and burning fuels unchecked, even as the climate crisis worsens,” said DiPaola. “This deal is a clear indication that the industry expects it still has the political power to keep the world hooked, pumping oil and gas with abandon while the planet burns.”
“Our leaders must stand up to these polluting industries, halt all new fossil fuel projects, and implement policies that phase out dangerous fossil fuels for good,” DiPaola continued. “The Chevron-Hess deal is a disturbing symbol of Big Oil’s intentions, but it does not have to be our future.”
Both companies are currently facing lawsuits from counties and states across the U.S. for misleading the public about their contributions to the climate crisis.
Last month, the state of California sued Exxon, Chevron, and three other fossil fuel giants for taking part in a “multidecade, ongoing campaign to seek endless profits at the expense of our planet.”
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth insisted in an interview with the Financial Times last month that “we are not selling a product that is evil.”