Simply sign up to the Oil & Gas industry myFT Digest — delivered directly to your inbox.
Diamondback Energy has agreed to buy Endeavor Energy Resources in a $26bn deal, beating ConocoPhillips in a race for one of America’s most sought-after private oil producers.
The cash and stock transaction, announced on Monday, will transform Midland, Texas-based Diamondback into one of the biggest participants in the sprawling Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, the biggest US oilfield.
Diamondback, which was valued at $27bn before the deal was announced, had been vying for weeks with the much larger Conoco to buy the shale oil producer. News of the takeover sent its shares up 10 per cent on Monday.
“With this combination, Diamondback not only gets bigger, it gets better,” said Travis Stice, Diamondback’s chief executive.
The deal is the latest in a series of large-scale merger and acquisition activity in the US shale patch as companies look to snap up the best remaining drilling acreage.
ExxonMobil announced a $60bn deal in October to buy Pioneer Natural Resources, the biggest participant in the Permian. That was followed shortly afterwards by Chevron unveiling a $53bn acquisition of Hess, which has assets in North Dakota’s Bakken shale and a stake in the biggest oil find of the past decade, off the coast of Guyana in South America.
Last month, Chesapeake Energy agreed to buy Southwestern Energy for $7.4bn to create the country’s biggest natural gas producer.
Diamondback itself lost out to Occidental Petroleum in its bid to buy CrownRock, another big private operator in the Permian. Occidental agreed a $12bn deal for the company in December.
The Endeavor transaction will consist of an $8bn cash payment and 117.3mn Diamondback shares worth $18bn as of Friday. The combined company will produce 816,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, making it one of the biggest participants in the US shale energy industry. Endeavor’s owners will retain a 40 per cent stake in the combined company.
Endeavor was set up by wildcat billionaire Autry Stephens in 2000, emerging from a business he built up from a solitary rig in 1979. Alongside CrownRock and Mewbourne Oil, it grew to become one of the leading private operators in the country.
The company has been on the market intermittently over the years, but no would-be acquirer has ever offered enough to satisfy Stephens.
“I am grateful to the Endeavor team and proud of what we have built since 1979,” Stephens said on Monday. “We believe Diamondback is the right partner for Endeavor, our employees, families and communities.”
Andrew Dittmar, an analyst at consultancy Enverus, said Diamondback’s record as a low-cost and efficient operator “gave the Stephens family confidence in taking their equity as the major consideration in the deal” and was “key to securing the deal . . . when negotiating against larger rivals”.
“The acquisition of Endeavor has a high likelihood of being the biggest upstream deal of 2024 and is among the last major outstanding M&A puzzle pieces to put together in the Permian Basin,” he added.
Like other private producers, Endeavor has increased output sharply in recent years as publicly listed rivals have held back on drilling under pressure from Wall Street to return cash to shareholders.
The surge in output from private oil groups has helped drive US production to record levels. The country pumped 13.3mn b/d of oil in November, the last month for which data is available from the Energy Information Administration, more than any country in history.
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
You have to hand it to Nikki Haley, she is tenacious. After her fourth straight loss to Donald Trump, this time in her home state of South Carolina, Haley is still not quitting the Republican race. This ensures that for at least the next 10 days until Super Tuesday, when the most states vote, she will continue to snap at Trump’s heels. With each act of defiance against Trump and her inevitable defeat, Haley shames Trump’s former critics-turned-courtiers.
“I have never seen the Republican Party so unified as it is right now,” said Trump in his Saturday night victory speech. Trump’s verdict is irrefutable in terms of his delegate lead, especially because of winner-takes-all states. He will be the Republican nominee. But the dogged “Never Trump” spirit of roughly a quarter of Republican voters — including the 40 per cent or so who voted for Haley in South Carolina — shows a Republican party that is far from unified.
This is no ordinary party split. The cognitive gap between those who believe the 2020 election was stolen and the minority of Republicans who acknowledge that is a myth is extremely hard to reconcile. It is one thing to say your rival believes in voodoo economics, as George HW Bush did of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Reagan selected Bush as his running mate. It is quite another to say “there is no way America is going to vote for a convicted criminal,” as Haley believes will be the case for Trump by November.
That still leaves the question of why Haley is sticking to a primary battle that can only end in her defeat. She has been far too pointed in her recent attacks on Trump’s character to make it to his shortlist for running mate. If a straw poll at this weekend’s populist Conservative Political Action Conference is any guide, the two most popular names are South Dakota governor Kristi Noem and Vivek Ramaswamy, the entrepreneur who dropped out as a candidate in January after the Iowa caucuses. Unless Haley eventually endorses Trump, which is becoming harder by the day, she would join former Wyoming representative Liz Cheney, outgoing Utah senator Mitt Romney and a handful of others as persona non grata in Trump’s world.
Haley’s goal looks more strategic: to become the long-term standard-bearer of the minority of Republicans who reject Trump. Call it the Reaganite rump of the party. That would put her in a good position either to run in 2028 if Trump loses to Biden this November, or to contest an open convention if Trump drops out before November owing to some black swan event. At this point, a criminal conviction probably would not qualify as one.
There is also a streak of psychological momentum to Haley battling it out. The longer she stands alone as the only Republican willing to take on Trump, the more feeble she renders those who have kissed Trump’s ring after warning that he was a danger. Most of Haley’s former rivals, including Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice-president, and even Ron DeSantis, the once virally popular governor of Florida, are deflating by the day. The boost to her brand profile of standing alone may be reason enough for her to stay in the race.
One final possibility is that Haley could become the candidate of No Labels, the third-party group that wants to break the mould of US politics. Many states have “sore loser” laws that stop a candidate from contesting the same election twice. That could block Haley from switching to the third-party banner. But the longer she stays in, the more pollsters will conduct three-way polls with Joe Biden, Trump and her. If Haley refuses to endorse Trump — a very big “if” given her past pledges to support him — she could yet be his nemesis in November. After a primary such as this one, were Haley eventually to bend the knee to Trump, she would be the loser twice over.
LIVINGSTON, Texas – The father of Audrii Cunningham along with her grandmother have released a statement after her body was found in the Trinity River on Tuesday.
The Livingston girl was at the center of an Amber Alert and had been missing for six days. Her body was found on Tuesday after multiple days of searching.
Saturday, her father and grandmother released a statement, saying they are devastated by what happened to Audrii and also saying the suspect in her murder, Don Steven McDougal, did not show up in the sex offender registration system when they looked him up before allowing him to stay on their property.
“The Munsch and Cunningham families are devastated and grieving for what happened to our little ray of sunshine, Audrii. We are being attacked and criticized on social media platforms for showing compassion and mercy to this formerly incarcerated person, but our interactions with this person were a result of our faith, which teaches us to give our fellow man a second chance,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, the system failed us due to a loophole in the sex offender registration system. Don Steven McDougal had a history of disrespect for young female children, but it did not show up when we checked the registry before allowing him to stay in an old camper in our back yard while he tried to start a new life. Had we been aware of what we know now, this man would never have set foot on our property, much less been a part of our little girl’s life.”
The family thanked law enforcement for their efforts to find Audrii and also urged lawmakers to look at the loophole which they say prevented them from knowing McDougal was a convicted sex offender.
“Audrii Danielle Cunningham will be missed, but hopefully not forgotten as we would like to ask Legislators and Law Enforcement both locally and in Washington, DC to look at the loophole that prevented us from knowing what Don McDougal was, a convicted sex offender. The sex offender registry is a valuable tool that parents and grandparents everywhere use to keep their children safe from these violent predators. This failing of the system is a crime that we cannot allow to go overlooked,” the statement said.
The family also announced a public memorial ceremony will be held for Audrii at the First Baptist Church in Livingston on Friday, Mar. 1. It will be between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
“Please wear purple which was Audrii’s favorite color. A private funeral ceremony will be held the next day for close friends and family only. Please respect us in our time of grieving as we lay our precious little Angel to rest,” the statement said.
You can read the full statement below:
One week ago on Thursday, the 15th of February 2024 Audrii Danielle Cunningham was lured under false pretenses, which led to a senseless act of violence occurring and ultimately to her death. Tragically, Audrii’s death occurred at the hands of a monster we thought was a friend, only 10 days after Audrii’s 11th birthday.
Audrii Cunningham was a charismatic, beautiful, talented, and kind young lady. She loved singing, dancing, reading, and painting, she was even learning the skills of a tattoo artist. Most of all, caring for and playing with animals was her passion; Audrii’s aspirations were to become a veterinarian or an animal trainer. Every day Audrii was out caring for our pets and walking our dogs, she would even walk the dogs of neighbors in the subdivision. She touched so many lives and filled them with joy and happiness that was infectious. She had so much energy and brought a passion to everything she did. Audrii will be missed by a great many people.
The Munsch and Cunningham families are devastated and grieving for what happened to our little ray of sunshine, Audrii. We are being attacked and criticized on social media platforms for showing compassion and mercy to this formerly incarcerated person, but our interactions with this person were a result of our faith, which teaches us to give our fellow man a second chance.
Unfortunately, the system failed us due to a loophole in the sex offender registration system. Don Steven McDougal had a history of disrespect for young female children, but it did not show up when we checked the registry before allowing him to stay in an old camper in our back yard while he tried to start a new life. Had we been aware of what we know now, this man would never have set foot on our property, much less been a part of our little girl’s life.
We wish to acknowledge and thank the Polk County Sherriff’s Office, the Livingston Police Department, the Texas State Troopers, the Texas Rangers, the Texas State Guard, the Trinity River Authority, the FBI and nearby County Sherriff Departments and well as thousands of volunteers, our local VFW Post, and the public for helping to search for and ultimately find the body of Audrii. We also wish to thank the non-profit organization Texas EquuSearch for their tireless efforts that ultimately led to the discovery of, and recovery of Audrii’s body from the waters of the Trinity River. This was a hard-working multi-jurisdictional effort that spent long hours in order to bring our angel Audrii home to us and bring this monster to justice.
We also wish to acknowledge and thank the members of the press who helped spread the word when the Amber Alert went out, and quickly pulled our community together with the common goal of bringing our little girl back home safe and sound. This coverage was considered invaluable to help focus attention and gather valuable leads that helped the search efforts. We were advised not to speak with the press during this time as it may have impeded the search for Audrii or shifted the focus from finding her.
Audrii Danielle Cunningham will be missed, but hopefully not forgotten as we would like to ask Legislators and Law Enforcement both locally and in Washington, DC to look at the loophole that prevented us from knowing what Don McDougal was, a convicted sex offender. The sex offender registry is a valuable tool that parents and grandparents everywhere use to keep their children safe from these violent predators. This failing of the system is a crime that we cannot allow to go overlooked.
There will be a memorial ceremony for the repose of the soul of Audrii Danielle Cunningham at the First Baptist Church in Livingston, TX on Friday, the 1st of March 2024 between the hours of 5 PM to 8 PM, and the public who helped in this effort are invited to attend. Please wear purple which was Audrii’s favorite color. A private funeral ceremony will be held the next day for close friends and family only. Please respect us in our time of grieving as we lay our precious little Angel to rest.
If you wish to drop off flowers, cash or check donations in memory of Audrii Danielle Cunningham, please contact Livingston VFW Post 8568 at (936) 327-9119. (Please make checks payable to VFW8568 and put in the notes “Audrii Cunningham”.) A Venmo fund (Venmo@VFW8568) has also been set up to see Audrii to her final resting place. Proceeds exceeding funeral expenses will be donated in Audrii Cunningham’s name to Texas EquuSearch up to the 2nd of March 2024. Later donations will be expanded to include organizations that protect our children from sexual predators, and organizations that assist these children and their families who experience this kind of senseless violent crime.
Again, we would like to thank everyone who was involved in the search for Audrii, and we hope you will do the same for others going forward. God bless y’all and God bless the children.
– Missing Livingston’s Audrii Cunningham never made it to school; When do districts notify parents?
– Person of interest spent time in prison for sexual contact with young girl
– What we know about ‘person of interest’ in case of missing 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham
– Person of interest was last person to see 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham morning of her disappearance
– Prayer service held for missing 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham from Livingston
– Investigators release photo of vehicle in connection to missing Livingston 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham
Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
Donald Trump has won the South Carolina Republican primary, defeating Nikki Haley in her home state and moving another step closer to winning his party’s nomination for president.
The Associated Press called the race for Trump the same minute the polls closed in South Carolina on Saturday. At just after 8pm Eastern Standard Time, Trump held 58 per cent of the vote and Haley held 42 per cent, with more than 20 per cent of the votes counted.
“This is a fantastic evening, it’s an early evening,” Trump said during his victory speech in Columbia, South Carolina, shortly after the polls closed. “On November 5, we’re going to look at Joe Biden, we’re going to look him straight in the eye — he’s destroying our country — and we’re going to say ‘Joe you’re fired! Get out Joe!”
Trump’s win in South Carolina comes after convincing victories in the Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire primary and Nevada caucuses last month — and raises fresh questions about how much longer Haley will stay in the race.
Trump insisted the Republican party was firmly behind him on Saturday night, telling supporters: “I have never seen the Republican party so unified as it is right now.”
But Haley has argued that a plurality of Republicans do not want the former president to be their nominee for the White House, and vowed ahead of Saturday’s vote that she would continue to fight on, whatever the outcome in South Carolina.
“South Carolina will vote on Saturday. But on Sunday, I’ll still be running for president,” Haley said in a speech this week at Clemson University, in Greenville, South Carolina. “We’re going to keep going all the way through Super Tuesday,” she said on Saturday morning, referring to March 5, when more than a dozen states will hold primaries.
Haley has spent heavily on campaign advertising, tapping a war chest filled by millions of dollars in donations from Wall Street and other deep-pocketed donors who have warmed to her Reaganite conservatism, considering her a viable alternative to Trump who is more likely to defeat President Joe Biden in a head-to-head contest in November.
Betsy Ankney, Haley’s campaign manager, said on Friday that Haley’s campaign would make a “seven figure” ad buy with adverts to run across the Super Tuesday states in the coming days. Haley spent about $11.4mn on ads in her home state this month, according to AdImpact data — over $10mn more than Trump.
“The math is challenging” for Haley to win the nomination, Ankney conceded. “But this has never just been about who can win a Republican primary. This battle is about who can win in November.”
A recent Marquette Law School poll found Trump and Biden virtually tied with voters nationwide, while Haley led Biden in a hypothetical general election match-up by 18 points.
To secure the Republican presidential nomination, a candidate must win an estimated 1,215 delegates from across the country before the official vote confirming the nomination at the party’s national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in July.
Trump already has 63 delegates thanks to his earlier victories in the primary race, and Haley has 17. Another 50 are up for grabs in South Carolina: 27 to the outright winner and the rest divided according to results in each of the state’s seven congressional districts.
Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles, senior advisers to Trump’s 2024 campaign, issued a memo this week insisting “the end is near” for Haley. Citing public and private polling data, LaCivita and Wiles said Trump was on course to rack up enough delegates to win the Republican nomination by mid-March.
On Saturday, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said Haley was “no longer living in reality” and “continues to gaslight voters and the media into believing she has a chance to win her home state of South Carolina and other states when she hasn’t received any type of real support or shown even a shred of momentum.”
“The primary ends tonight and it is time to turn to the general election,” Cheung added.