— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on April 10, Friday.
Royal Dutch Shell's deal to buy BG Group marks the first super oil merger since oil prices started falling last summer, in an effort to boost the British-Dutch group's growth in liquefied gas and deep water exploration.
IF history is any indication, this 70-billion-dollar-acquisition might foreshadow a REpeat of the late 1990s, when falling oil prices prompted a wave of super oil mergers as energy companies bulked up in order to get through that tough time.
Let's take a look at what happened back then.
BP kicked off the merger mania in 1998, with a 48.2-billion-dollar-deal for Amoco, then bought another rival, Arco, in 2000.
Meanwhile, Exxon acquired Mobil in 1999 for 82 billion dollars. At the time, Exxon was the world's No. 1 oil company. Mobil was No. 2.
That was followed by Chevron's 100-billion-dollar merger deal with Texaco in 2000.
And now, with oil prices coming back to low levels, the merger between Shell and BG Group has created a new oil giant, with a total market cap of nearly 250 billion dollars, surpassing Chevron, and twice the market cap of BP, and one step closer to replacing the world's largest oil and gas producer, which has a market cap of around 360 billion dollars.
[Ben, SHELL CEO] "It's fair to say that the changing macroenvironment apart from making this deal a very very good fit and a logical deal, also a very compelling one from the financial perspective as well. Let me put at the same time that this is not a bet on the oil price. This deal works in a whole range of oil and gas prices. Of course we still belive that in the longer run in a few years time, we will see the long term fundamentals reassert themselves and we will see higher oil prices than we see at the moment. And of course this deal will look not just very good, but very fantastic."
[Bob Dudley, BP CEO] "This is a huge shock for our industry. cost structure is gonna have to move and change, and taxation is going to move and change. It's gonna be very painful. 07:46:01 **jump to ** 07:46:47 Many companies, including us, are reducing our capital, shifting activities out, until the time is clear. But it should be a huge sign for us that we made our decision to come to this big project this year in Egypt."
Whether Exxon Mobil will take any action to secure its No.1 position?
We don't know.
But analysts say, this acquisition could provide a template in the current environment, with deep-pocketed players taking advantage of their competitors' problems to bolster their own position.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.
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