That under-performance has created the perfect opportunity for mega oil names to look towards consolidation for growth—and every single U.S. oil company is a potential takeout target, according to Oppenheimer senior analyst Fadel Gheit.
Crude rose and fell in volatile trading last week ahead of Friday's OPEC meeting, where the cartel decided to keep output steady at 30 million barrels per day, even as the U.S. continues to churn out more than 9 million barrels per day. Both international Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) have surged off multi-year troughs, but remain far below the levels above $100, where they traded last year before U.S. supply began pushing down crude prices.
Even with the most recent volatility, oil has still managed to gain around 35 percent from lows hit in mid-March. In that same time period, Exxon Mobil and Chevron have both dropped more than 1 percent.
"When things improve in the industry, no one wants to be holding Exxon anymore," Gheit said in an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money." "It's like the bomb shelter. You don't go there to spend the rest of your life there, just temporarily until things quiet down."