The world's biggest publicly traded energy company is joining the land rush in the prolific Permian Basin.
Exxon Mobil announced Tuesday it will pay $5.6 billion in stock to acquire companies owned by Texas' Bass family that control parts of the Permian in New Mexico. The purchase roughly doubles Exxon's holdings in the basin, adding acreage with an estimated 3.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The assets are located in the Delaware Basin, part of the larger Permian.
The deal is the largest oil and gas acquisition in the United States since crude prices crashed in November 2014, according to Houston-based oil and gas research firm PLS. It tops the previous record-setting $4.4 billion purchase of Memorial Resources by Range Resources in May.
"This acquisition strengthens Exxon Mobil's significant presence in the dominant U.S. growth area for onshore oil production," Exxon Chairman and CEO Darren W. Woods said in a statement. "This investment gives us an exceptional Delaware Basin position ... that can generate attractive returns in a low-price environment."
Shares of Exxon were up modestly Tuesday.