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Exxon Mobil May Team Up With Qatar to Explore US Shale Plays


Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM is planning to jointly develop shale gas acres in the United States with Qatar, per The Wall Street Journal.

According to the newspaper, XTO Energy, an affiliate of Exxon Mobil, will probably collaborate with Qatar Petroleum to develop wells. As of now, the companies haven’t entered into an accord and there are chances that the talks will fizzle out, the newspaper added.

If the agreement goes through, the U.S. energy market will see massive investments in shale resources by a country in the Middle Eastfor the first time.In other words, the move will strengthen the presence of Qatar outside the Middle East.

The advent of hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") paved the way for shale revolution in the United States. This helped domestic explorers produce record volumes of oil and natural gas. Most importantly, Exxon Mobil intends to triple its daily oil equivalent production in the Permian Basin to 600,000 barrels through 2025. Hence, it could be profitable for Qatar to explore U.S. shale plays after teaming up with Exxon Mobil.

Qatar is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) globally.

Headquartered in Irving, TX, Exxon Mobil is the largest publicly traded energy player in the United States.

However, the stock has declined 7.1% over the past year, underperforming the industry’s 9.6% gain.

Presently, the firm carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, better-ranked players in the energy space include Antero Resources Corporation AR, Continental Resources, Inc. CLR and Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. NOG. All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Antero Resources is expected to witness year-over-year earnings growth of 303% in 2018.

Continental has an average positive earnings surprise of 64.9% for the last three quarters.

Northern Oil and Gas will likely see a year-over-year rise of 200% in 2018 earnings.

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