Fat Cat Exxon Primed to Deal

Behemoth stood still when oil hit record highs, now has $40B for buying spree
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jan 12, 2009 10:22 AM CST
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson could target rival Royal Dutch Shell.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Flush with cash after resisting costly acquisitions while oil prices hit record highs, Exxon Mobil could be ready for a shopping spree that could alter the face of the world’s energy supply, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company has nearly $37 billion in reserves and could target another oil company, like Shell, and “change the industry structure forever,” say analysts.

Exxon was largely unharmed, unlike some competitors, by the retreat in oil prices. It’s been involved in an aggressive share buyback program that further solidified its balance sheet, and despite the global financial crunch, it remains in a strong position to move on an industry that’s otherwise struggling. It could even strike a deal with a country, like Brazil, looking to develop new finds.