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Chevron's CEO walked away from a near-disaster last year. That opened the door for one of this year's biggest oil deals

July 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Chevron Corp. El Segundo Refinery stands in El Segundo, California, U.S., on Monday, April 27, 2020. Chevron is scheduled to release earnings figures on May 1. Photographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

Chevron CEO Michael Wirth wisely walked away from last year's battle over Anadarko Petroleum. Now, Chevron is back with the biggest takeover since the pandemic threw the industry into chaos.

New York (CNN Business)Chevron CEO Michael Wirth isn't a fan of bidding wars.

Last year, Wirth wisely walked away when smaller rival Occidental Petroleum (OXY) swooped in to outbid Chevron for shale driller Anadarko Petroleum in a deal worth $58 billion.

The experience paved the way for Chevron to announce a less risky but still major deal this week: It will buy oil-and-gas company Noble Energy (NBL) for $13 billion, in the biggest energy takeover since the pandemic that set off chaos in the industry.

The Anadarko episode helped shape the decision to make a play for Noble Energy now, Wirth told CNN Business in an interview.

Chevron announced Monday it will buy Noble Energy for $13 billion, including the assumption of $8 billion of debt, in an all-stock deal.

By contrast, Noble Energy will represent just a small part of Chevron, making up a mere 7% of the large company's enterprise value, according to financial services firm Raymond James.

Although it's too early to say how many jobs could be affected, Wirth noted there is some "overlap" between Chevron's and Noble's field operations.

Asked whether Chevron will flex its balance-sheet muscle by making more acquisitions, Wirth said his focus is on restructuring the company and integrating Noble Energy — two complex tasks that involve many people.

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