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ExxonMobil: Go big or go home

Takeover opportunities abound for ExxonMobil if it chooses to pull the trigger

While the downturn has wounded many oil and gas companies, it is creating opportunities for others – none more so than ExxonMobil. Extended price declines have provided fertile ground for takeovers in the past. In 1999, Exxon, then the world’s largest traded oil company, took over its closest rival Mobil in a $75bn deal that gave it access to Qatar’s gas, among other prizes. In 2009, the company used a period of plunging US natural gas prices to snap up leading shale player XTO for $45bn.  Thanks to its size and diversity, the company has weathered the oil and gas price decline over the past year better than anyone else. Its large refining and chemicals businesses, its efficiency and its ge

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